Lewis Hamilton has posted on social media for the first time since the end of last season. The Briton has kept an extremely low profile since his heartbreaking loss to Max Verstappen in a controversial F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi in November.
There has been a lot of speculation whether or not he will return to racing, with some rumors suggesting the 37-year-old could retire from the sport.
But his Instagram and Twitter post on Saturday will offer fans hope that he will be back after all.
Hamilton shared a photo of himself at the Grand Canyon in the United States of America.
And with that, he added the caption, “I’m gone. Now I’m back!”
While this isn’t an official confirmation that Hamilton will feature in next season’s championship, it certainly seems to hint that he will be back competing with Mercedes.
Prior to Saturday, Hamilton’s most recent activity on Twitter was on December 11 – the day before the final race of the season.
And his silence has led some, like former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, to conclude that retirement is approaching.
Asked if he had spoken to Hamilton recently, the 91-year-old told Blick: “No, but a few days ago with his dad.
“I immediately sensed that he wouldn’t answer a question about his son’s future. So we only talked about business!
“I don’t think he’s coming back. His disappointment is too big. And you can kind of understand that.
“Now would be the time to tackle his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur with seven world titles like Michael Schumacher.”
Others, however, were more confident of the star’s return.
His former teammate Nico Rosberg said in December: “With this procedural change or whatever you want to call it, he suddenly lost the world championship. It was tough, it was extremely tough. But of course, I count on him to return to the grid next year and fight to recover this world championship which was somehow taken away from him.
“Lewis was – or is – the best wheel-to-wheel racer, and here is Verstappen really taking him to wheel-to-wheel racing and even being better at times. It’s amazing to see their talent and to see them get into it. They’re like on their own planet, they’re way beyond everyone else, so hopefully we’ll see him again next year.