Mercedes crew boss says it’s going to take time to digest Hamilton’s loss to Verstappen within the F1 season finale.
Lewis Hamilton could by no means recover from the ache of being “robbed” of a file eighth Components One title, Mercedes crew boss Toto Wolff stated in feedback that raised doubts in regards to the driver’s future within the sport.
Wolff, chatting with reporters for the primary time since Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi and after Mercedes dropped plans to enchantment, added he and Hamilton wouldn’t be attending the FIA’s gala awards in Paris that night the place Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen can be handed his trophy.
The highest three drivers are obliged to attend the prize-giving underneath article 6.6 of the Components One sporting laws.
Hamilton misplaced to Verstappen after the Dutch driver overtook him on the final lap at Yas Marina, benefitting from a sudden change to the security automobile process that allowed racing to renew.
“It’s going to take a very long time for us to digest what has occurred on Sunday. I don’t assume we are going to ever come over it, that’s not potential,” stated Wolff.
“And definitely not him [Hamilton] as a driver. I might very a lot hope the 2 of us and the remainder of the crew we will work by way of the occasions… However he won’t ever overcome the ache and the misery that was induced on Sunday.”
Mercedes gained 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 gained’t be there due to my loyalty to Lewis and due to my very own private 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 averted saying something after being knighted at Windsor Palace on Wednesday.
Requested immediately 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 might very a lot hope Lewis continues racing as a result of he’s the best driver of all time,” he stated.
“As a racer, his coronary heart will say I have to proceed as a result of he’s on the peak of his sport. However we’ve got to beat the ache that was induced upon him on Sunday. He’s a person with clear values.”
Wolff was assured Mercedes might have gained a authorized battle however there was “a distinction between proper and acquiring justice”.
“It was tremendously laborious for him and for us as a crew to withdraw the enchantment, as a result of we had been wronged,” he added. “My soul and my coronary heart cries with each bone that this could have been judged in the fitting means.
“The selections which have been taken within the final 4 minutes of this race have robbed Lewis Hamilton of a deserved world championship. He gained the beginning and he by no means gave the lead away once more.
“Robbing him on the final lap of the race is unacceptable… my values, my sense of integrity, simply isn’t appropriate with the choices which have been made on Sunday.”