Marc Hynes, who ran Project 44 – the management company that deals with Hamilton’s business interest – has left the role to pursue other ventures in motorsport.
Hynes is very good friends with Hamilton since their junior careers and the split has been believed to be an ‘amicable’ one.
Hynes was the winner of the British Formula 3 championship in 1999 and has been part of Project 44 since 2016.
Although not confirmed, rumours speculate that the split was partly due to the one-year extension to Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes.
Going into 2021, Hamilton is statistically the greatest driver of all time and is hunting for his record-breaking eighth world title.
The question that will be repeated throughout the year will be Hamilton’s future in the sport, especially since his involvement in the all new Extreme-E Championship (a championship for all-terrain electric vehicles), for now the seven-time world champion stated:
“I have decided. I don’t want that [championships] to be the deciding factor.
“I got into racing because I loved it and that’s got to always be at the core of what you do.
“If all you’re going for is accolades, I feel I could potentially lose my way. Of course it is the ultimate dream but I don’t think it is not going to be the deciding factor whether I stay or keep going; it is more whether then I still have the smile when I leave the garage.
“It is going back to: ‘Do you enjoy it?’ Last year was a really tough year for everyone, including me, but there were some really impactful moments.
“Will that be the case this year? We’ll see. Will I enjoy it as much, we’ll see. I am excited now, so I am sure I will.”
With George Russell lurking in the wings after his impressive performance in the Sakhir Grand Prix as a stand-in for Hamilton, as well as Max Verstappen showing growing interest in leaving Red Bull, Hamilton holds a crucial key to the driver market for 2022.
GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Righton says:
Although he has repeatedly stated that winning the championship this year will not affect his future, I think it certainly will have a partial influence in his decision.
I feel that he is no longer interested in joining Ferrari (for 2022 and beyond), especially since the rise of Charles Leclerc as well as the team’s recent struggles.
In terms of Mercedes, I feel Toto Wolff (Team Principal of Mercedes) is keen to get George Russell in as quickly as possible before the young Brit is snapped up by a rival team, but I feel Hamilton doesn’t fancy the fresh challenge of going up against a young superstar and I can’t blame him – he is 36 after-all.
I think if he does win the Championship this year, he will leave the sport as I have a sneaky suspicion that Mercedes may sign Russell for 2022 and with a whole host of regulation changes to make the racing closer, it’s almost a convenient time for him to leave at his peak and focus on his Extreme-E team as well as other projects.
If he doesn’t win then I will expect him to stay at Mercedes but will have to deal with having a fast-charging Russell as his team-mate rather than the stability of Valtteri Bottas.