Nico Rosberg joked he could help Lewis Hamilton learn to speak German following his retirement, as the pair addressed Mercedes fans at the team's end-of-season event in Stuttgart.
Rosberg shocked the sporting world on Friday, announcing his immediate retirement from Formula One just five days after clinching his maiden world championship in Abu Dhabi. The German revealed his sensational decision ahead of the FIA's annual prize-giving ceremony in Vienna.
The newly-crowned champion's move brings to a close a fierce on-track rivalry between Rosberg and Hamilton, particularly over the course of the last three seasons, in which the duo have battled each other for the world title during the current period of Mercedes dominance. After seeing Hamilton come out on top in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg finally achieved his childhood ambition of becoming world champion this season.
Despite an often frosty and at times awkward relationship both on and off-track, Rosberg and Hamilton were in good spirits as they exchanged light-hearted quips towards one another on Saturday. Three-time world champion Hamilton apologised to the onlooking crowd for his lack of German vocabulary and asked: "I'm going to try a little bit of German -- how do I say 'I'm so happy to be here!?'"
He then added: "I have been with the Mercedes family since the age of 13 and I hope by the time it comes to my retirement that I can speak German to you."
Having started a rendition of Queen's 'We are the Champions' just moments before, Rosberg told Hamilton: "If you're looking for a German teacher, call me up as I'm looking for a job!"
Quick in his response, the Briton joked: "Nico's the worst German teacher, he tells me all the wrong words," before adding he plans to remain in the sport for "another 10 years at least" while on the subject of Rosberg's retirement.
Hamilton then got behind the wheel of the W05 hybrid which took him to his first world title with Mercedes in 2014, before Rosberg drove his own title-winning car -- this year's W07 -- for what could be the final time.
Mercedes will begin its search to fill the vacant seat for 2017 on Monday, insisting it will consider "all options" in deciding upon Hamilton's new teammate.