Lewis Hamilton has said that he is not at all surprised by the shock announcement by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg announced that he was retiring from Formula with immediate effect following his maiden world title.
Attending the same FIA prizegiving gala where Rosberg announced his retirement, Hamilton was quoted by Reuters saying: “This is the first time he’s won in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop.
“He’s also got a family to focus on, and wants more children, and Formula 1 takes so much of your time. Will I miss the rivalry? Of course.”
Hamilton and Rosberg have known each other since their teen years and went karting together however that friendship soon turned sour when the F1 became an exclusive battleground for the pair as they battle for the title and leaving the competition behind.
Ever since the duo became Mercedes teammates in 2013 the duo dominated the F1 circuit for years.
Despite the fueds in recent years, Hamilton said that Rosberg would be missed by him and the sport.
“It’s going to be very, very strange and it will be sad not to have him in the team next year,” added Hamilton. “The sport will miss him and I wish him all the best.”
He did however state that he was disappointed not to be given a chance to reclaim the title. Nico won the F1 title this year by a margin of 5 points with 385 points to Hamilton’s 380. The British F1 superstar failed to make it three world titles in a row after winning two consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015.
“Of course it is a shame that he won’t allow me to take it [the title] back or fight to take it back but that is his choice and I respect his decision: go out on top while you can.”