LEWIS HAMILTON has remained tight-lipped on his Formula One future because he might be thinking about a Hollywood career.
That is the view of former F1 world champ Jacques Villeneuve.
British superstar Hamilton has barely said a word since he was controversially robbed of a record eighth world title on the final day of last season.
And reports have been rife suggesting the 37-year-old will walk away from the sport before the start of the new campaign.
The Mercedes man is a huge success away from the track with ventures including a collaboration with fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger.
And he also writes and records his own music and even featured on Christina Aguilera's 2018 tune Pipe.
As a result, Canadian Villeneuve, 50, reckons Hamilton might be keeping his options open.
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He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I interpret Hamilton’s silence as him wanting to put some distance between himself and [Mercedes chief] Toto Wolff.
“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.
“In doing so, Wolff suffered a lot of image damage, in my opinion.
“Hamilton is sensitive to that because he is thinking about his future in America, maybe even in Hollywood.”
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Despite his ambition to be a success away from the track, Villeneuve says the Brit's return will depend on the quality of the car Mercedes produce after a few problems last season.
He added: “It depends on the car that Mercedes will give Hamilton, whether he can win easily with it or not.
“Lewis is also a bit more tired, he has had [some] easy seasons after Nico Rosberg’s departure and he really won’t want to have another year like he experienced last season.
“He thought he could easily bring in the record eighth title and that didn’t happen.
“It’s like a diamond that you have in your hands and then suddenly it’s taken out of your hands.
“In this way it hurt much more than if [Max] Verstappen would have simply led the whole race.”
Despite the radio silence, Merc boss Zak Brown recently told RACER he is confident Ham will stick around.
He said: “I think he’ll be back.
“He’s a racing driver. I think he’s at the top of his game.
"I’m sure he’s very angry, but I think race car drivers want to race and I think he’s a fighter, and he’ll want to come back and try to win an eighth championship.
"If he is able to do that, it would elevate him above Michael Schumacher who himself is a seven-time F1 World Champion.
“I don’t think he’s ready to retire.
“This is my own personal opinion, I’ve not talked to him, because once you hang it up, you hang it up.
“I guess you could come back as some have done, but I don’t think he’s ready to hang it up and I don’t think he’s going to let an incident put him into retirement.”
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