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Radio, Twitter and Instagram silence continues for Mercedes F1 driver and one of the most popular athletes on the planet, Lewis Hamilton.
At least one German media outlet is comparing Hamilton's lack of social posts after his heartbreaking loss in the Formula 1 finale at Abu Dhabi on Dec. 12 to the silence of world-ranked No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, who has been quiet on social media since being deported from the Australian government for violating that country's COVID mandate.
"Both have arrived on a cloud where they believe they are floating above everything," wrote Bild columnist Helmut Uhl. "Once there, they forget to look down at their fans. The ones who pay for their teams, their fashion, their sponsors.
"Don't these fans have the right to hear a few words of explanation now that their heroes and role models aren't standing on the top pedestal? Perhaps they think their silent retreat is diplomacy. I see it as cowardice."
Hamilton has not posted to his Twitter account and his 6.9 million followers on that social media platform since Dec. 11, the day before the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:
P2 on the front row tomorrow, not bad since I prefer the battle. We’re looking strong and feeling focused — we’ve got to dig deeper than ever before. LET’S GO ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/3Pd3tjHQsp
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) December 11, 2021
Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 champion who is taking a shot at the 2022 Daytona 500, sides with Hamilton.
"I interpret Hamilton's silence as him wanting to put some distance between himself and (Mercedes team principal) Toto Wolff," Villeneuve told European outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport. "After all, you can lose with style, whereas Toto behaved like someone who is playing Monopoly. The moment he is losing, he throws the whole board into the air.
"Hamilton is sensitive to that because he is thinking about his future in America, maybe even in Hollywood."
Hamilton's most recent post to his Instagram account that has 26.8 million followers was made on Dec. 11, as well:
Hamilton's next scheduled appearance in a normal year, something that the world hasn't seen since COVID descended upon the plant two years ago, is the scheduled launch of the 2022 Mercedes F1 car at Silverstone on February 19. Hamilton and new teammate George Russell are both scheduled to appear.
No word on if Hamilton will break his silence.