1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve believes Lewis Hamilton’s ongoing silence is an indication that he is distancing himself from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Hamilton has not publicly been heard from since the final race of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi last month.
The Briton dramatically missed out on the championship after being overtaken by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances.
The fallout from the incident has raised question marks over Hamilton’s future in the sport, despite the seven-time World Champion signing a two-year extension with Mercedes last year.
Villeneuve believes that Wolff’s comments during and after the race in Abu Dhabi last year has damaged his image, which has led Hamilton to isolate himself from the Austrian.
“I interpret his silence as a way of distancing himself from Wolff,” Villeneuve told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“You can lose in style, instead Toto behaved like someone who plays Monopoly but, because he is losing, he throws it all upside down.
For me, he [Wolff] has damaged his image, and Hamilton is sensitive on this issue because he is thinking about his future in America, perhaps in Hollywood. It depends on how good the new Mercedes is, whether it will be easy to win or not.
“Lewis is also a bit tired. He had quiet seasons after Nico Rosberg’s retirement, and he certainly doesn’t want to live a year like the last.
“He thought he could easily break records and that wasn’t the case, and then when you lose a title like that, it’s as if you had a diamond in your hand and then it’s taken away from you.
“It hurts much more than if Verstappen had led the whole race.”
Jaques hit the nail right on the head…” It depends on how good the new Mercedes is, whether it will be easy to win or not.”…Hamilton has been easily winning for 8 years (except when his teammate actually raced him instead of team orders). It’s no secret that Hamilton wouldn’t have near the success he’s had without being in the car that, for the last 7of 8 years, has been over a second faster than the competition. And now he’s questioning weather he can compete with the top drivers this coming season. I for one would LOVE to see Alonso in the Merc if Hammy quits, but this new season is a crap shoot to see which team gets the car setup the best to start the generation.
not sure what you’ve been watching, but it’s not F1. The only thing I agree about is a desire to see Fernando in a Merc. But then who wouldn’t ?
Not sure what I’ve been watching? Sorry but was the hybrid era Merc not ridiculously faster than the field up until this season? Please tell me what F1 you’ve been watching the past 8 years.
Up until this season, the only time another team was even remotely close, was the Ferrari in 2018. Oh wait, Ferrari was almost suspended a year for getting caught cheating that year!
You can always count on Jacques to spout rubbish. I don’t believe a word of this.
Jacques is the reining king of idiotic takes.
Now some idiot above spouting off it is the car. But Max won due to his driving not his car? Hamilton got robbed and it was no conspiracy. Jacques Villeneuve is a has been and need relevancy. Hamilton doesn’t speak or recognizes Villeneuve so how does Villeneuve know what is going on. Speculation and nothing concrete.
Robbed. Brilliant. Keep crying, your tears of defeat taste so good.
Hamilton wants to pull his finger out bit the bullet and stop being a spoilt brat how many times has he won on last lap with other drivers trying to get there first win he has to win and woolff wants to grow up to
you teach kids to accept the fact that you may win and may loose this team gets away with everything if they can then try to get someone sacked because they loose my god how gready are they get on with it