Lewis Hamilton has ’50 million reasons to stay in F1′ with retirement talk ‘all for show’

Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton “has 50 million reasons to stay in F1” and talk of retirement is “all for show”, according to F1 insiders. Hamilton missed out on landing a record eighth F1 championship last season after he was defeated by Max Verstappen following a controversial end to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton appeared to be heading for the 2021 F1 title as he led for most of the season finale.

He had won the previous three races to set-up a winner-takes-all showdown in the desert, where the two contenders went into the race level on points.

As the Grand Prix was entering its latter stages, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi careered into a wall, which resulted in a safety car being deployed.

Verstappen took the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres, but Hamilton was unable to do the same without risking his track position.

Five lapped cars had come between the two protagonists as the race was about to get underway again – but they were dramatically allowed to pass Hamilton and move clear.

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Verstappen was then given permission to pull level with the Briton for the restart of the race and used his fresh tyres to overtake and storm to victory.

Mercedes were outraged by the incident and the team initially launched a protest.

The Silver Arrows then declared their intention to appeal, although they ultimately decided against going down that route.

The fallout has been immense and Hamilton hasn’t said anything publicly since his brief post-race interview.

There has since been suggestions that the 37-year-old is ready to call it a day and turn his back on the sport.

But one source close to Mercedes has told The Telegraph that the radio silence is “all for show” and the ace is being used as leverage to chivvy the FIA into action.

The FIA has promised to undertake an investigation into the events surrounding the season climax and Mercedes are likely to be desperate for answers.

“It’s all part of the drama,” one F1 insider told the newspaper.

“The truth is Lewis is going to have a super competitive car this year and he’s got 50 million reasons for staying [the value of his contract].

“Anyway, if he was going to retire he’d have said it by now wouldn’t he?

“Otherwise he’s just going to f— the team because they’ve got no options.”

The 2022 F1 season is set to begin in March and it remains to be seen if Hamilton will take to the track.

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