According to rumours, Lewis Hamilton wanted to walk away from F1 for the rest of 2016 after his crash with Nico Rosberg on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Of course there are rumours for pretty much everything in F1 and this particular one comes from Sky Sports F1. They’re notorious for ‘stirring the pot’ and certainly like to devote a good amount of time to Hamilton, so maybe take it with a pinch or two (or five) of salt.
The rumours started immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix when Hamilton apparently felt angry that the team refused to blame Rosberg for the accident, and with a 43-point deficit in the championship wondered what the point was in carrying on. But those rumours quickly died down when Hamilton turned up for the next race in Monaco, and the subject was put to bed.
In Abu Dhabi Martin Brundle dredged it all back up again though when he said to Lewis: “After the crash in Spain there was a story you said ‘I’m going to stop, I’m going to give up’. Is there any truth to that?”
Lewis responded: “That is all private stuff that is in the past.”
The rest of the article bases the fact that he didn’t outright deny it as proof that he’d wanted to walk away. Which is a bit like wondering if Toto Wolff is actually a wolf because he’s never specifically said that he isn’t. But anyway.
The one part that does make it seem like there could be some truth in it was the sudden change Mercedes made for the post-race test at Barcelona, when they replaced Esteban Ocon with Pascal Wehrlein at the last minute. If they did need to replace Hamilton then someone with some F1 experience would be preferable, and Wehrlein fitted that bill more than Ocon did at the time. Giving him experience in the car before a race weekend would have been hugely beneficial.
Either way it’s largely irrelevant since he didn’t quit the team, and combined with the way he ignored team instructions in Abu Dhabi it just seems like a way to create the impression that there’s some sort of rift between Hamilton and Mercedes. But hey, it’s the off-season, right? Gotta have something to talk about!
Hamilton later made another reference to a potential future book in which he reveals everything: “I get excited about the thought that, one day, I can talk about this year,” Hamilton said last week. “There are so many thoughts I have on my mind, which I can’t share with you just yet.”
Sounds exciting! Things he wants to share but can’t? If it’s about all the different ways he was constantly sabotaged by team members so Mercedes could have a German world champion it’ll be mind-blowing. But if it’s about how he doesn’t like Niki Lauda’s hats then it probably won’t be. Truth is it’ll probably be somewhere in between.
We just hope Lewis doesn’t forget about this book he’s supposedly going to write. Because we won’t!