Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton
Wolff said he would love for Hamilton to return but was unsure if he would.Lars Baron/Getty Images and Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images.
  • Lewis Hamilton's racing days may be over according to his team boss Toto Wolff.
  • The Mercedes chief said both men are "disillusioned" with the sport following the 2021 season finale.
  • Hamilton missed out on F1's world title when he was overtaken by Max Verstappen on a controversial last lap.

Lewis Hamilton's boss has hinted the Brit's racing days may be behind him following the disappointment of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton saw a record-breaking eighth world title slip through his fingers after Max Verstappen snatched victory on the final lap of the season in highly contentious fashion.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that both he and Hamilton were "disillusioned" following the Formula One season finale in which a late safety car erased a 10-second lead for Hamilton and allowed Verstappen a chance for victory.

"It is going to take a long time to digest what has happened on Sunday," Wolff told reporters. "I don't think we will ever get over it, that's not possible.

"Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment. We're not disillusioned with the sport. We love the sport with every bone in our body. And we love it because the stopwatch never lies. 

"But if we break that fundamental principle of spotting fairness and authenticity of the sport, then suddenly the stopwatch doesn't become relevant anymore. Because we are exposed to random decision-making. 

"And it is clear that you may fall out of love with a sport if you start to question, with all the work you have been doing, all the sweat and tears and blood."

Hamilton's contract runs until the end of next season, but Wolff did not confirm whether he would be back in the Mercedes seat come February. 

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
Hamilton was beaten to the title by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.Clive Rose/Getty Images

"I would very much hope that Lewis continues racing because he's the greatest driver of all time," the 49-year-old said. 

"We will be working through the events over the next weeks and months and I think that as a racer, his heart will say 'I need to continue', because he is at the peak of his game.

"But we have to overcome the pain that was caused upon him on Sunday, also because he is a man with clear values and it is difficult for him to understand how that happened.

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton received a knighthood for services to motorsport.Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images

"I just have to do the utmost that I can to help him overcome this, in order for him to return strong and with a love of the sport and trust in the decision-making of the sport next year, and I wish very much that will be the case."

Hamilton himself has been quiet since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with his last Instagram post coming after qualifying on Saturday.

He was back in the UK on Wednesday to receive a knighthood from Prince Charles, becoming one of just a handful of active British sportspeople to hold the title of Sir.

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