FEBRUARY 16, 2024

Rosberg defends Hamilton's childhood dream claim

Nico Rosberg has defended his former teammate and title nemesis Lewis Hamilton after deciding to scrap his Mercedes contract after this year to switch to Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton, Brazilian GP 2023
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Hamilton, 39, justified the move on the basis that it had always been a childhood dream to race in red - a claim scoffed at by another F1 nemesis, Fernando Alonso.

It was not his childhood dream 12 months ago, no? Alonso smiled. Or two months ago, I guess, it was a different dream.

But German Rosberg, who immediately quit Mercedes and F1 altogether after beating Hamilton to the 2026 title, defended Hamilton's reasoning.

It surprised me, he told Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "But if you look at the big picture, there are two legendary teams that everyone wants to drive for - Ferrari and Mercedes.

So I can understand that he is fulfilling a personal dream with this, the 38-year-old added.

Some might regard the suddenly-vacant 2025 Mercedes seat as the perfect opportunity for Rosberg himself to return to Formula 1. A source close to Sebastian Vettel told Sky Deutschland this week that even Vettel is eyeing the seat very eagerly.

Rosberg, though, categorically rules out his own return.

It's over, he said. "I'm not planning a comeback.

I'd have to prepare intensively for a whole year just to train the synapses in the brain again, Rosberg added.

Rosberg was already at Mercedes when the great Michael Schumacher decided to return to F1 in 2010 - and failed to add a single race win to his hefty tally of 91 grand prix victories in three full seasons.

It might be argued that Schumacher probably regretted the comeback decision.

I think if we had the opportunity to ask him about it, he wouldn't regret the comeback, Rosberg insists. Racing again, the duels, that pushed him on enormously. He looked noticeably rejuvenated from that time.