Lewis Hamilton has shot down the prospects of Mercedes adding free agent Daniel Ricciardo to the team as an insurance policy - the Briton ain't "stopping anytime soon".
Hamilton made it clear on Thursday that he is not retiring despite a disappointing 2022 - his meaning being that there is no room for Ricciardo at Mercedes.
Hamilton made the comments ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
"For years we've 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.
Ricciardo (33) has eight career wins in F1, most recently at the Italian Grand Prix last year. -Reuters