Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton “doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon” as the Mercedes driver rules out an F1 exit amid retirement speculation.
Rumours have circulated about a potential Mercedes reshuffle at the end of the season, with Hamilton departing and current McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo stepping into the hot seat.
Ricciardo will leave McLaren at the end of the 2022 campaign, and when asked if he could be joining Mercedes next year, he replied “no comment”, suggesting initial discussions have been held.
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However, Hamilton is adamant he would not be going anywhere, saying he “feels healthier than ever” and doesn’t plan on leaving the sport anytime soon.
“For years we have been going up and down with stories of retirement and stopping,” the 37-year-old said.
“I feel healthier than I have ever felt, I love what I am doing and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”
Ricciardo will be driving for a new team next year if he decides to remain in F1, but admits he is keeping his options open.
“The truth is I am keeping every option for next year and for the future,” Ricciardo said.
“I still don’t know what next year looks like. I do want to be on the grid, I do want to race.
“Although this has been a challenging time in my career, it hasn’t taken the love of the sport away from me, that desire to still be here.”
Hamilton was full of praise for Ricciardo and said he “would be racing” if he was in charge of the Australian, despite the McLaren driver admitting he'd be open to a reserve role in 2023.
He added: “I think he should be racing, he has earned the right to be amongst us all racing but of course if he is a part of our team that would be great.
“If I was his manager, he would be racing.”
Hamilton will start this weekend's Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after receiving an engine penalty for replacing a Power Unit.
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