Lewis Hamilton reacts to sudden retirement of rival Nico Rosberg

The two have regularly clashed as Mercedes team-mates

BY Raf Diallo 19:20 Friday 2 December 2016, 19:20 2 Dec 2016

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and his teammate Nico Rosberg of Germany speak during a news conference at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar)

Lewis Hamilton says he will miss his rivalry with Nico Rosberg after the Formula One champion announced his shock retirement.

The German beat his Mercedes team-mate to this year's title by five points, taking the championship after the final race of the season just five days ago.

It followed the 2014 and 2015 seasons when the 31-year-old lost out to the Briton.

Hamilton can understand Rosberg's decision to step down from the sport and is not surprised by the decision.

"This is the first time he's won in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop," Hamilton said.

"But also he's got a family to focus on, and probably wants more children, and Formula 1 takes so much of you. Will I miss the rivalry? Of course."

Hamilton and Rosberg have clashed regularly and sometimes bitterly as Mercedes team-mates since the British driver signed for the team for 2013, having been childhood friends in their formative year as young drivers prior to their entry into Formula 1.

But now Hamilton will have to come up against a new team-mate for the 2017 season and beyond.

Who could replace Rosberg as Mercedes? Thomas Maher of Formula Spy looked at the options on Newstalk.com.

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