Former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen stated the only situation in which Lewis Hamilton will return, saying he will do it if he has the fastest car.
Mercedes’ driver situation looks very similar to their 2016 one, only this time, there is no confirmation that the driver has actually left the team. Hamilton’s future remains up in the air after the controversial Abu Dhabi GP.
Although the seven-time world champion is tied to a Mercedes contract that runs out in 2023, the team has let drivers walk before. With his comeback still very much a question mark, time is running out for Mercedes.
Hakkinen stated the only situation in which Hamilton will return, saying he will demand the best tool possible.
“Lewis’ journey in Formula One has been really long and there are so many elements which will come into his opinion as to whether to continue,” the former world champion said, as quoted by RTE.
“Lewis has the confidence. He has been winning, he has been on the top of the podium, and everybody has been looking at him like, ‘Wow, you are great’. He is thinking that it must continue this way, so this is going to be a very interesting year for him.”
“The regulations in Formula One have dramatically changed,” Hakkinen continued.
“It is going to be a completely new machine and the chances are that the designers might not find an optimum machine. If that happens to Lewis it is going to be really hard for him to accept.
“If you have been at the top of the mountain and suddenly you have to climb back up the mountain because you don’t have the best car, it is going to be emotional for him to control.
“There are a lot of question marks surrounding Lewis. We don’t know whether he is coming back, but let’s hope he is,” he concluded.