Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly one of the best drivers to have ever raced in Formula 1. The Briton started his F1 career in 2007 with McLaren and won his first championship title in 2008. The seven-time world champ won his next six drivers’ championships with Mercedes after joining the German outfit in 2013. Lewis also led the Silver Arrows to eight consecutive constructors’ championships since 2014. The 37-year-year-old came very close to winning his eighth championship title in 2021, where he was involved in a fierce title battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The two drivers entered the title-deciding final race of the season in Abu Dhabi with equal points in the standings.
The Briton was cruising his way in the lead during the final race, and a record eight championships seemed possible at first. However, a late safety car spilled the party for Hamilton, allowing Verstappen to overtake him and win his first championship title. The controversial decision of retracting the safety car during the final lap cost Hamilton a championship. And naturally he was greatly devastated by it. The FIA waited two months to declare Max as the winner, ultimately ending Lewis’ hopes of his eighth title. However, amid all the on-track drama, Hamilton and his team lost a lot of money that they would have received for winning the championship.
As per The Sun, the Mercedes driver would have received a hefty bonus of $4.74 million for winning the championship. At the same time, his Mercedes team employees have been awarded $11,850 each after a win in Abu Dhabi. However, sadly Lewis lost the championship due to a controversial decision that shook the Briton’s passion for the sport.
Hamilton Lost Faith In The System After 2021 Loss
The Mercedes driver was devastated by how things turned out during the final race in Abu Dhabi. He distanced himself completely from social media for almost a month before making a media return during the unveiling of the Mercedes 2022 car. After his championship loss, there were a lot of speculations about Hamilton’s future in Formula 1. The Briton finally talked about his retirement plans during the 2022 car launch.
Hamilton shared that he thought about the future at the end of the season. The champ pointed out that the only question was if he was willing to commit the time and the efforts required to win a world championship. Lewis admitted that his championship loss was a significant factor. He added, “I think ultimately a sport I’ve loved my whole life. There was a moment where I obviously lost a little bit of faith within the system.”