Domenicali: F1 'robust' enough to survive Hamilton exit

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Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali says the sport is "robust and solid" enough to survive Lewis Hamilton's potential departure from the grid at the end of the season.

The future of the seven-time world champion whose contract with Mercedes expires at the end of 2021 is the subject of ongoing speculation this season.

Hamilton himself recently stated: "I plan to be here next year". But many are those who believe that the Briton will call it a day if he wins a record eighth world title.

However, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is eager to have clarity on Hamilton's future over the summer, at which point the 36-year-old might not yet be in a position to make a call.

But should Hamilton ultimately decide to ride off into the sunset, Domenicali insist F1 will "react and move forward".


"For sure Lewis Hamilton is a great asset," said the Italian, speaking this week to Wall Street analysts on F1's first quarter conference call.

"He is doing an incredible job on the sporting side in terms of image. He was able to grow F1 in other areas which were not really specifically related to F1.

"But F1 itself is strong, and drivers, champions, are always in a place where they one day they may retire."

Domenicali made clear that he was not privy to any specific information regarding Hamilton's future.

"I don't know what Lewis is doing, we are talking with him, but of course, now he's focused on his actual season, he is fully boosted to make sure that he'll be the only driver that is going to win eight titles in the history of F1," he added.

"But you know, F1 is solid, robust, and for sure, whatever will be the decision of Lewis, F1 will react and move forward."

"The good news is that if Lewis, as we all hope, will stay, he will have an incredible season in front of him with the new cars, with a new challenge. And for sure, this may be very interesting for him.

"If he will decide a different way around, the good news is that in F1 we have so many good drivers today that are at least the challenge, the chance, will be even stronger.

"Therefore, of course, whatever will be the decision of Lewis, we will respect it. But F1 is really solid and strong."

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