Nico Rosberg discusses Lewis Hamilton’s mindset as retirement talk continues

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage. Bahrain testing February 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the team's garage during testing. Bahrain February 2023.

Nico Rosberg does not believe that his former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is considering retirement, quite the opposite in fact.

Rosberg remains the only driver to have beaten Hamilton to the title as a team-mate in Mercedes colours, clinching the 2016 World Championship and calling time on his Formula 1 career shortly after.

But with Hamilton then having gone on a streak of four further successive titles, making him a seven-time World Champion, Mercedes now seem to be struggling to provide the challenger that could finally bring that record eighth crown for the Brit.

As sweeping Technical Regulation changes came into force ahead of F1 2022, Mercedes struggled to master them with Red Bull and Ferrari establishing themselves as the leading outfits.

Mercedes were widely expected to put right the wrongs of the W13 in F1 2023, but so far at the season-opening Bahrain GP, the W14 is yet to look like a real leading challenger, with Hamilton having claimed that Mercedes are a “long way off” that P1 spot.

And with Hamilton yet to sign a new Mercedes deal beyond the end of this season, another of Hamilton’s past team-mates, 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, and 1996 champ Damon Hill, have speculated whether the competitiveness of the W14 is causing a delay in Hamilton signing fresh terms.

Hamilton himself has firmly shut down such talk, and indeed, Rosberg sees no signs that Hamilton is looking for the F1 exit door. Instead, he is confident that this challenge of putting Mercedes back on top is firing Hamilton up. recommends

Lewis Hamilton: Current W14 concept leaves Mercedes with uphill struggle
Lewis Hamilton dismisses ex-champions ‘creating rumours without facts’ on his future
Lewis Hamilton dismisses Mercedes W14 Plan B talk as ‘complete rubbish’

Asked by Sky Sports F1 whether Hamilton fighting for the odd podium finish is fitting of such a decorated driver, Rosberg replied: “I think everybody including Lewis himself wants to see him right at the front fighting Max Verstappen for race wins of course, that’s clear.

“But nevertheless, I think for him it looks to be the case that he’s relishing the challenge to bring Mercedes back to the front once more, and to get that eighth title, because of course, it’s still possible.

“So I don’t see him thinking about retirement at the moment. I think he’s full on focus, big push and wanting to make the most of the season.”

As well as boasting the joint-most number of title successes in Formula 1 alongside Michael Schumacher, Hamilton does hold a host of other outright records, including most race wins, podiums and pole positions.