Lewis Hamilton's almost total silence since losing the 2021 title showdown against Max Verstappen is "not ok".
That is the view of Bild newspaper correspondent Helmut Uhl, who also criticises world number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic's silence since the Australian government deported him.
"It's not ok," Uhl told the major German daily. "Both have arrived on a cloud where they believe they are floating above everything. 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."
Distance from Toto?
1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks seven-time world champion Hamilton is actually protecting his legacy.
The outspoken former F1 driver Canadian told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I interpret Hamilton's silence as him wanting to put some distance between himself and Toto Wolff. After all, you can lose with style, whereas Toto behaved like someone playing Monopoly. The moment he loses, he throws the whole board into the air.
"Hamilton is sensitive to that because he thinks about his future in America, maybe even in Hollywood."
Another former F1 driver, Vitaly Petrov, sides with Bild's Uhl in thinking that the time for the Mercedes driver to finally break his silence has come.
He told Russia's Championat: "Whether he is offended, whether he does not agree, whether he does not agree with the behaviour of Mercedes or their refusal to appeal - there are a lot of questions. But there are no answers."