F1 news LIVE: Lewis Hamilton remains tight-lipped on future as teams tease new cars

Speculation over Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula 1 continues to dominate the sport ahead of the upcoming 2022 season, with the seven-time world champion remaining tight-lipped since his controversial loss in Abu Dhabi.

The FIA have received the brunt of criticism after Max Verstappen snatched his maiden title on the final lap of the season, with the governing body’s new president, Mohammed bin Sulayem, revealing that Hamilton had yet to respond to any of his messages. Meanwhile, race director Michael Masi’s decision-making continues to draw further scrutiny, with Stefan Johansson the latest former driver to question whether sporting integrity was sacrificed for the sake of entertainment.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner insisted the sport should “move on” from the drama in Abu Dhabi and, although the fallout will continue, attention is now turning towards the beginning of the new season in March as teams start to tease images of their cars. Mercedes tweeted a cryptic image of Hamilton, too, with the caption: “adversity causes some to break; others to break records,” in the clearest hint yet that the Briton will be back for another bid to break Michael Schumacher’s record.

Follow all the latest news below.

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Fans reaction to 2021 season was “scary”

F1 supporters are still discussing the end of the 2021 season after Max Verstappen controversially claimed the world title.

He and Lewis Hamilton headed into the final race on equal points with everything to play for. Hamilton led the majority of the race until Nicholas Latifi crashed and a safety car was deployed. Race director Michael Masi allowed the race to continue and allowed some cars to unlap themselves with a lap to go.

This allowed Verstappen to overtake Hamilton and claim the crown. Some fans were outraged with some even sending death threats to Latifi for crashing and the reaction has been labelled “scary” by former commentator Alexey Popov.

He told Championat.com: “I always thought Formula 1 was different from, say, football. I was very happy and proud that we have much more intelligent fans who respect each other.

“Respectful of the drivers they cheer for, but also of the other drivers and their teams. This year, sometimes it was just scary: I see people talking crap about each other. Honestly, this is not the Formula 1 I was proud of at one point.”

F1 fans criticised for ‘scary’ reaction to 2021 season

Verstappen pipped Hamilton to the title on the final lap of the final race of the 2021 season

Ricciardo “envious” of Hamilton and Verstappen’s title battle

Daniel Ricciardo says he had mixed emotions around Lewis Hamilton’s fight with Max Verstappen for the world championship in 2021.

The pair were locked on equal points heading into the final race and Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap to secure his first title. Ricciardo, who hasn’t won a championship, says he was jealous of the battle playing out before him.

“Of course, I’m envious,” he told an end-of-season press call, as quoted by GPFans. “But I’ve been envious for eight, nine years. It’s nothing new, but of course, it’s exciting the thought of it.

“For me like everyone, I’m a fan, I’m a driver, but I’m still a fan of the sport. It’s been great and take the envy aside, it’s awesome for F1 to have the battle. I can’t recall a year where two guys found themselves side by side on so many races. I feel like 75 per cent of races they’d gone wheel to wheel at some point, so it’s pretty awesome.”

Daniel Ricciardo ‘envious’ of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Verstappen pipped Hamilton to the title on the final lap of the final race of the season

Sergio Perez: Red Bull has brought me to another level

Sergio Perez was brought into the Red Bull team for the 2021 season, replacing Alex Albon as a main driver, and he had a great campaign.

He was hailed in Abu Dhabi for delaying Lewis Hamilton while Max Verstappen pitted for new tyres. Perez also gained multiple podium finishes and has said the team have “brought him to a new level”.

He told GPFans: “Red Bull really pushes you to the maximum. Not just the drivers, [but] the engineers, the mechanics, the team bosses.

“Everyone is flat-out working to deliver the perfect result, the perfect moment for everyone. It’s been a tremendous experience and it has brought me to another level as a driver.”

All you need to know about 2022 season

If Lewis Hamilton is to step away from the sport his announcement is thought to come before the start of the 2022 season in March. The campaign will start in Bahrain with a lot of changes to teams.

Max Verstappen will look to defend the title he controversially won in Abu Dhabi and if Hamilton is out of the picture he could form a new rivalry with another driver.

But when does the new season start specifically and who are the drivers? Find out below:

When does the 2022 Formula 1 season start and who are the drivers?

Everything you need to know ahead of the new F1 season

F1 latest news

Speculation over Lewis Hamilton’s future in Formula 1 continues to dominate the sport ahead of the upcoming 2022 season, with the seven-time world champion remaining tight-lipped since his controversial loss in Abu Dhabi.

The FIA have received the brunt of criticism after Max Verstappen snatched his maiden title on the final lap of the season, with the governing body’s new president, Mohammed bin Sulayem, revealing that Hamilton had yet to respond to any of his messages. Meanwhile, race director Michael Masi’s decision-making continues to draw further scrutiny, with Stefan Johansson the latest former driver to question whether sporting integrity was sacrificed for the sake of entertainment.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner insisted the sport should “move on” from the drama in Abu Dhabi and, although the fallout will continue, attention is now turning towards the beginning of the new season in March as teams start to tease images of their cars. Mercedes tweeted a cryptic image of Hamilton, too, with the caption: “adversity causes some to break; others to break records,” in the clearest hint yet that the Briton will be back for another bid to break Michael Schumacher’s record.

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