Former F1 champ rules out shock comeback as Mercedes seek Lewis Hamilton’s replacement

Michelle Foster
Monza: Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff pictured at the Italian Grand Prix.

Monza: Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff pictured at the Italian Grand Prix.

Having walked away from Formula 1 after winning the 2016 World title, Nico Rosberg has made it clear he won’t be throwing his name into the hat to replace his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season.

A decade ago Hamilton and Rosberg made up one of the most formidable line-ups on the Formula 1 grid as the Mercedes team-mates went head-to-head for the World title.

Hamilton was the first of the two to achieve the feat, doing so in 2014 and again in 2015 before Rosberg claimed his only title a year later.

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The German beat Hamilton to the title, and then days later shocked his team boss Toto Wolff and the world of motorsport as a whole when he announced he was retiring. He was just 31 at the time.

Now it’s Hamilton’s turn to shock the paddock after the Briton announced he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of this season to join Ferrari, having signed a multi-year deal with the Scuderia.

Although he signed a new two-year contract in August last season, one that was set to run for 2024 and ’25, Hamilton has activated an escape clause that allows him to leave one year into the two-year contract.

Mercedes are now hunting for a new driver with Wolff adamant he won’t be rushed as he wants the “best” possible line-up he can sign with George Russell already confirmed for 2025.

But while it’s fair to say Wolff has probably been inundated with CVs given Mercedes’ success, one man who is not throwing his name into the hat is Mercedes’ 2016 World Champion Rosberg.

“That’s over, I’m not planning a comeback,” the 38-year-old told Suddeutsche Zeitung. recommends

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His reasoning is two-fold, one he’s not up for the danger that comes with motor racing, and two, he doesn’t believe he could be competitive having already been on the sidelines for seven years.

“I have great respect for the danger,” he said.

As for the competitive side, he explained: “I couldn’t just do that either. I would have to prepare intensively for a whole year if only to train the synapses in my brain.

“A racing driver has to react super-fast at top speed and be precise. I’ve lost that after the long break. The muscles are also put under so much strain, just to hold the steering wheel with all the centrifugal forces.”

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