Lewis Hamilton will not retire from F1, says former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg expects his former Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to be back on the grid to challenge Max Verstappen for the title once again in 2022.

Team principal Toto Wolff admitted he and Hamilton felt “disillusioned” after the seven-time world champion lost out to Max Verstappen on the very last lap of the season in the finale at Abu Dhabi, after a late safety car restarted handled in controversial and unprecedented circumstances by FIA Race Director Michael Masi.

Wolff’s comments, which came in his first public appearance since the conclusion of the race at Yas Marina, led to speculation that Hamilton could simply walk away from the sport due to the circumstances of his defeat to Verstappen.

Rosberg himself retired immediately after winning the 2016 drivers’ championship, following a bitter four-year spell as Hamilton’s teammate in which the friendship the pair had enjoyed since childhood was eroded by their on-track rivalry.

“It was heart-breaking for him, absolutely, because up until four laps from the end he was almost certain to be world champion,” Rosberg told Sky Sports F1 ahead of the finale of the inaugural Extreme E season in Dorset, in which the driver-turned-eco-entrepreneur runs a team of his own.


“Then with this change of procedure or whatever you want to call it, suddenly he lost the world championship. It was tough, it was extremely tough. But of course I do count on him being back on the grid next year and fighting to get back that world championship that kind of got taken away from him in a way.

“Lewis used to be — or is — the best wheel-to-wheel racer, and here comes Verstappen who is really taking it to him in wheel-to-wheel racing and sometimes even being better. It’s incredible to see their skill and to watch them go at it. They’re like on their own planet, they are well beyond everybody else, so I do hope we see it again next year.”

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