Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he isn’t surprised by Nico Rosberg’s decision to retire from Formula One and the British driver made it clear that he had no influential part in the decision-making for his 2017 teammate, Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton was also attending the FIA Prize Giving event in Vienna and said that it was no surprise to him that Rosberg has announced his retirement. The pair have been on the racing ladder together for most of their lives and Hamilton suggests that the German was always likely to quit when he finally beat Hamilton.
“I’m probably one of the only people that it was not a surprise to. But that’s because I’ve known him for a long time. This is the first time he’s won [in their rivalry since karting] in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop.
But he’s also got a family to focus on, having children, and Formula 1 takes so much of your time. We started out when we were 13 and we’d always talked about being champions.
When I joined this team [Mercedes] Nico was there, which was again something we talked about when we were kids. It’s going to be very very strange, and it will be sad not to have him in the team next year. The sport will miss him, and I wish him all the best.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton also revealed that he will played no part in the decision making surrounding his teammate next season. He added,
“I’ve never been a driver to ever request – I know a lot of the other drivers, Sebastian [Vettel], Fernando [Alonso], make sure that’s in their contract. I’ve just always asked to have equal rights.
So as long as we are treated fairly then it doesn’t matter who is sitting alongside you. We’ve got great team bosses and I’m sure they will choose the right people to represent them. I’m here to race, I still love racing, and now the focus is onto next year and I’m hoping for a better season.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Bottas is very much in the hot-seat for next season. If not in terms of competing with Hamilton, being in the media spotlight and having to endure the same game that Rosberg had to. The Finn may rise above a war of words, but there’s doubt that this can be escaped with a teammate like Lewis Hamilton. It’s a new type of pressure for Bottas, but pays off at the prospect of fighting for the title.