Maybe it’s just my brain working overtime in the absence of any real on-track action during this off-season, but in the above video when the Merc team is firing up the new 2022 chassis for the first time, I swear I’ve convinced myself that there is some silver to be seen. There seem to be some hints of silver on the car’s rear end when the starter button is pushed, and perhaps a bit of a livery on the cell phone when the team facetimes with Wolff for the event. Maybe I’m looking too much into this.

I know that having a black livery does about as much for raising awareness of anti-racist efforts as wearing a ribbon does for curing cancer, but it’s all symbolic, and while I don’t know him personally, it all seemed incredibly important to Hamilton. The 7-time world champion has launched a program called The Hamilton Commission aiming to improve diversity in motorsport, and particularly in Formula One, with half of the funding for the project coming from Mercedes-AMG itself. Across 2020 and 2021 it seemed that Formula One itself was doing very little with its “We Race As One” initiative beyond empty platitudes, so we’ll see in the coming years whether that actually goes anywhere or if it is pushed into the graveyard.

With this return to silver livery, some — including myself — wonder if perhaps it is a sign that Lewis Hamilton has indeed decided to walk away from F1 after the frankly bullshit way his 2021 season ended. I certainly would not blame him. The recently knighted Sir Hamilton has been on something of a social media hiatus since the end of the season earlier this month. Perhaps he’s looking for ways to shift his focus away from motorsport and on to more humanitarian purposes more befitting his new Knight of the British Empire title.


Or maybe this is nothing and the world of F1 reporting is boring right now, so everyone, myself included, is just trying to stir up some shit to talk about.