Nico Rosberg blames Lewis Hamilton for Max Verstappen’s retirement

Former world champion Nico Rosberg believes Max Verstappen has lost motivation due to a gruelling battle with Lewis Hamilton.

Former F1 driver and ex-world champion Nico Rosberg appeared to take a dig at ex-teammate Lewis Hamilton when discussing the retirement claims made by Max Verstappen.

The retirement question surrounding the reigning champion is nothing new as the Dutchman has vocalised his emotions, particularly frustrated over rule changes that have seen the number of sprint races increase from three to six.

Verstappen has been deflated over the work-life balance in the sport, questioning whether it is worth it.

Former Mercedes man Rosberg bizarrely appears to view Hamilton as the reason for this.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“That talk from him (possibly retiring) started in the year when he battled Hamilton,” he said.

“Where he said ‘I won’t go on for very long if every year is like that’. Those battles are so fierce and intense, it takes a lot of the fun away as well,” claimed Rosberg when speaking with Sky F1.

Whether Verstappen agrees with Rosberg’s verdict remains to be seen, but one thing is apparent, Rosberg has reached such a conclusion as a result of his own experiences in F1.

Nico Rosberg finally achieved F1 greatness when he defeated teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton in 2016 to claim the F1 title.

Article continues below

Interestingly, after narrowly defeating Hamilton by 5 points, he retired after his first title.

READ: English actress to star in new Formula 1 television drama

The pair endured a hugely intense rivalry, often coming to blows and contact.

It was an enthralling battle between the two Mercedes men and one in which Hamilton often came out on top, winning the title in 2014 and 2015.

However, one stark difference between Verstappen and Rosberg emerges immediately – after a fierce dual with Hamilton for the 2021 crown, Verstappen kept going and is now on course for a third straight drivers world title.