Lewis Hamilton to Daniel Ricciardo: Sorry buddy
Lewis Hamilton shot down the prospects of Mercedes adding free agent Daniel Ricciardo to the team as an insurance policy — the Brit ain’t “stopping anytime soon.” Hamilton made it clear on Thursday that he’s not retiring, despite a disappointing 2022.
His meaning — there’s no room for Ricciardo at Mercedes. Hamilton made the comments ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. “For years we’ve been going around, up-and-down with stories of retirement, stopping,” Hamilton said, seated next to Ricciardo.
“For me, I feel healthier than I’ve ever felt. I’m feeling fit, I love what I’m doing. “I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Sorry buddy,” talking to Ricciardo. Hamilton threw water on Ricciardo being a backup, too. “He’s far too talented,” Hamilton said. “And he’s earned the right to be amongst us all racing.”
Ricciardo and McLaren made it official last month that the sides will part ways at the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season. Hamilton is set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid due to penalties for exceeding his season’s power unit allocation. Mercedes said Hamilton would be using his fourth unit after damaging one at the Belgian Grand Prix when he collided with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.