Mercedes group boss says it can take time to digest Hamilton’s loss to Verstappen within the F1 season finale.
Lewis Hamilton might by no means recover from the ache of being “robbed” of a document eighth Formula One title, Mercedes group boss Toto Wolff stated in feedback that raised doubts in regards to the driver’s future within the sport.
Wolff, talking to reporters for the primary time since Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi and after Mercedes dropped plans to attraction, added he and Hamilton wouldn’t be attending the FIA’s gala awards in Paris that night the place Red Bull’s Max Verstappen can be handed his trophy.
The prime three drivers are obliged to attend the prize-giving below article 6.6 of the Formula One sporting rules.
Hamilton misplaced to Verstappen after the Dutch driver overtook him on the final lap at Yas Marina, benefitting from a sudden change to the protection automotive process that allowed racing to renew.
“It’s going to take a long time for us to digest what has happened on Sunday. I don’t think we will ever come over it, that’s not possible,” stated Wolff.
“And certainly not him [Hamilton] as a driver. I would very much hope the two of us and the rest of the team we can work through the events… But he will never overcome the pain and the distress that was caused on Sunday.”
Mercedes received the constructors’ title for an unprecedented eighth yr in a row and Wolff stated technical head James Allison could be in Paris to gather the trophy on behalf of all of the workforce.
“I won’t be there because of my loyalty to Lewis and because of my own personal integrity,” he stated.
Hamilton spoke briefly after Sunday’s race to 2009 world champion Jenson Button earlier than the rostrum ceremonies however did no media post-race and has not spoken publicly since.
He additionally prevented saying something after being knighted at Windsor Palace on Wednesday.
Asked straight whether or not Hamilton, who turns 37 in January and has two years remaining on his contract, could be again subsequent yr, Wolff indicated that was not a certainty.
“I would very much hope Lewis continues racing because he is the greatest driver of all time,” he stated.
“As a racer, his heart will say I need to continue because he’s at the peak of his game. But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday. He is a man with clear values.”
Wolff was assured Mercedes may have received a authorized battle however there was “a difference between right and obtaining justice”.
“It was tremendously hard for him and for us as a team to withdraw the appeal, because we were wronged,” he added. “My soul and my coronary heart cries with each bone that this could have been judged in the precise approach.
“The selections which have been taken within the final 4 minutes of this race have robbed Lewis Hamilton of a deserved world championship. He received the beginning and he by no means gave the lead away once more.
“Robbing him on the last lap of the race is unacceptable… my values, my sense of integrity, just isn’t compatible with the decisions that have been made on Sunday.”