Lewis Hamilton has broken his social media silence as speculation continues over his future in motor racing.
The 37-year-old Mercedes driver has been conspicuous by his absence since December’s debacle in the desert, when he was denied a record eighth world title in the controversial conclusion to the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who is said to be debating whether to return to the grid in 2022, hinted he is close to making a decision when he announced on Twitter on Saturday evening: “I’ve been gone. Now I’m back.”
I’ve been gone. Now I’m back! pic.twitter.com/Y8i0cgJXZq
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) February 5, 2022
Mercedes announced earlier in January that they would launch the first car of F1’s revamped technical era at Silverstone on February 18, five days before the first winter test in Barcelona.
Hamilton is expected to be on site for the launch, alongside new team-mate and compatriot George Russell. His deal with Mercedes, which earns him in the region of £40million-a-season, is due to expire at the end of next year.
The Abu Dhabi victory by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leaves Hamilton tied with Michael Schumacher on seven world championships.
Race director Michael Masi received criticism after he was accused of bending the rules to allow a one-lap shootout, and while an FIA inquiry has been launched, it will not be made public until the eve of the 2022 season opener in Bahrain on March 20.