Three-time Formula 1 champion and close rival Lewis Hamilton says he was not at all surprised by Nico Rosberg’s retirement announcement.
Rosberg dropped a huge piece of news on Friday when he announced his retirement from Formula 1, just days after winning his first world title.
Many people may not like to admit it, but once the dust had settled, a lot of us probably started wondering what his close competitor and team-mate Lewis Hamilton thought of it all.
Well, as it turns out, he wasn’t at all surprised by the news. Even though we all were. After 11 seasons in F1, Rosberg has decided to call it a day and focus on his family and other things.
Hamilton and Rosberg were friends way back in karting, as the former referenced in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
After four seasons as F1 team-mates, battling it out for the titles over the last three years, Hamilton knows Rosberg a lot better than basically all of us and was completely unsurprised by the news of his F1 exit.
“The sport will miss him but I wish him all the best,” Hamilton is quoted saying at the FIA prize giving press conference in Vienna.
“I am sure it is a surprise to many people. I am probably the only person who thought it was not a surprise because I’ve known him a long time, but this is motor racing.
“This is the first time he has won in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop.”
Was that a burn? Anyway, he went on to add:
“He’s got a family to focus on, and wants more children, and F1 takes so much time. Will I miss the rivalry? Of course.
“We had always talked about being champions and when I joined this team and Nico was there, which is also something we talked about when we were kids.
“It is definitely something very strange and it’ll be sad to not have him in the team next year.”
Now attentions are turning to who will replace Rosberg at Mercedes for 2017, but the team says it isn’t rushing into a decision.
No doubt Toto will be busy answering phone calls from racing drivers over the winter though.