After McLaren announced that Daniel Ricciardo will not be driving for the team next year, rumours started circulating that the Australian might end up at Mercedes as a reserve driver.
Ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Lewis was asked to give his thoughts on this rumour.
“I think he should be racing, personally,” Hamilton said.
“He’s far too talented to [be a reserve driver] and he’s earned the right to be amongst us all racing.
“But, of course, if he’s a part of our team that would be great. But third role is not really what’s best for him. If I was managing him, he’d be racing!” Lewis concluded
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Ricciardo, who was seated next to Lewis at the press conference, also gave his thoughts.
“The truth is I’m keeping every option open for not only next year but the future [also],” Daniel said.
“I still don’t know what next year looks like. As Lewis said, I do want to be on the grid – I do want to race.
“I touched on it a few weeks ago, although this has been certainly a challenging time in my career, it hasn’t taken the love of the sport away from me and that desire to still be here and compete.
“Obviously, many talks or thoughts about next year and beyond that [have taken place], but I’m still not sure what that looks like,” Ricciardo concluded.
George Russell was also asked about the rumour.
“I’ve not heard any reports or heard anything but I think Daniel’s track record speaks for itself really,” the Briton said.
“He’s a driver deserving of a seat on the Formula 1 grid and it would be a real shame for him to not be there next season.
“But obviously from our side having a driver of his calibre joining the team in any capacity would be a real boost. He’s a driver I get along with.
“I just hope he stays on the grid and in the sport,” Russell concluded.
Later Sky Sport reported that Mercedes is currently not even thinking about Hamilton’s retirement.
“Sky Sports News understands there is no ongoing plans for life after Hamilton and they are giving no thought to succession plans,” the broadcaster wrote.