New-look Lewis Hamilton makes first social media appearance since 2021 Abu Dhabi GP

Lewis Hamilton, alongside new teammate George Russell, could be seen wishing Chinese fans for the New Year on a video posted to Weibo.

Lewis Hamilton in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/F1)
By Shayne Dias | Feb 1, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Lewis Hamilton has never been known to keep a low profile since his Formula 1 debut in 2007. However, the seven-time world champion has been conspicuous by his absence in the public eye in recent times.

Since the end of the 2021 F1 season at Abu Dhabi, the British driver has kept a low profile. That, along with his “we’ll see about next year” comment after the title-deciding race have left many speculating on his future.

To top things off, he’s been largely absent from social media too. But all that changed recently, as he made an appearance on a Mercedes social media account.

Hamilton, alongside new teammate George Russell, could be seen wishing Chinese fans for the New Year on a video posted to Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Lewis Hamilton

What’s more, Hamilton could be seen sporting a new look. The Stevenage-born driver has in recent years become known for his dreadlocks.

However, as you can see in the above screenshot, he is sporting a buzzcut similar to his McLaren and early Mercedes days.

It is a timely reappearance in the public eye for Hamilton. Teams are gearing up for the new season, with pre-season testing about three weeks away.

Whether or not this puts rest to the retirement rumours, however, remains to be seen.

Why has Lewis Hamilton kept a low profile since December?

The controversial ending to the Abu Dhabi GP reportedly affected Lewis Hamilton quite badly. At some level, it is easy to understand why.

Before the late Safety Car, triggered due to a crash by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, he had controlled the race.

Jumping Max Verstappen early, Hamilton held on to the lead and was on course for the win after a single pit-stop.

However, the late Safety Car saw Verstappen pit for fresh soft tyres. Mercedes did not pit Hamilton, believing they would lose position.

Yet the controversy came as the race drew to an end. Race director Michael Masi ordered only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves.

This controversial call – normally all lapped cars must unlap themselves – made Hamilton a sitting duck. And Verstappen claimed his maiden title.

Since then, many news reports have said Hamilton is waiting for the FIA investigation to conclude. Only then will he make a call on his career.

But, as things stand, the FIA investigation is still going on. So it is still not clear if we will see Hamilton on the grid come the season-opening Bahrain GP.