Hamilton has only been seen in public once since Max Verstappen overtook him in the last lap in the final race of the 2021 season to deny the star a record eighth world title. The British driver attended Windsor Castle for his knighthood but has taken a break from the spotlight as he is said to be frustrated by the decisions made by officials during the race.
But Hamilton has featured in a Mercedes video alongside his new teammate George Russell which was posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo. He said: “Hi everyone, I wish you a Happy Chinese New Year. May the New Year bring you good luck and everything you wish for.”
Russell then added: “Hi guys. I’d like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year. I’m excited to join the AMG family and become part of the world’s fastest family. See you soon and stay safe.”
Hamilton hasn’t revealed whether he will remain in the F1 and is said to not be making his decision until an inquiry into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is published. That will happen just before the 2022 season gets underway in Bahrain in March and so it will be a late call for the seven-time champion.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said Hamilton has taken time away as he doesn’t have the words for the controversial circumstances.
“We are all wavering in emotions and Lewis most of all,” said Wolff, quoted by Motorsport-total.com. “He won the World Championship until the last lap, and then everything is taken away from you from one second [to the next]. Of course you lose faith because you can’t understand what has just happened.
“The silence is there, of course, because he simply lacks words as well.”