Lewis Hamilton anguish prolonged as FIA delay final decision on Abu Dhabi investigation

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Lewis Hamilton faces an anxious wait on the outcome of the FIA investigation into what happened at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s now been over a month since Max Verstappen stole the lead from Hamilton in dramatic fashion at the Yas Marina Circuit to take his first World Championship.

Hamilton had been leading for the majority of the race before a safety car period filled with controversy ruined his title chances.

Mercedes were left furious at race director Michael Masi for his decision to allow the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen through before the final lap.

Toto Wolff trudged off to his offices after the race to immediately lodge two appeals to the FIA, which were eventually rejected.

Hamilton was gracious in defeat, congratulating his championship rival for an “amazing job”.

JUST IN: FIA confirm Abu Dhabi investigation is underway with deadline set

But nothing else has been heard from the seven-time world champion with growing reports he could walk away from F1.

Wolff admitted in the week after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Hamilton was “disillusioned” and was uncertain whether the 37-year-old will continue in the sport.

Reports this week stated that Hamilton will decide his future after the Abu Dhabi investigation.

The FIA have now confirmed that their inquiry into the dramatic race is underway, but a final decision won’t come until the middle of March.

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It’s been confirmed that the outcome of the investigation will not be announced until after both pre-season tests.

That may cause some further anguish for Hamilton, who will likely need to make a decision before the Barcelona test, which starts on February 23.

The FIA statement read: “Following the decision of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 15 December 2021, the FIA administration, under the leadership of Mohammed Bin Sulayem, has started the detailed analysis of the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“The FIA President launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one.

“On January 19, an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee will be dedicated to the use of the Safety Car. The following stage will be a shared discussion with all F1 drivers.

“The outcome of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and final decisions will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March.

“FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has asked Secretary General Sport and recently appointed Single-Seater Director Peter Bayer for proposals to review and optimize the organization of the FIA F1 structure for the 2022 season.”

That announcement will seemingly come just two days before the season opener in Bahrain.

Mercedes will need to know Hamilton’s plans before then to potentially bring in a replacement.

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