On the back of a strong weekend with significant car improvements at the Nurburgring, the McLaren driver made a bid for the lead at the start but cut a tire in contact with eventual winner Mark Webber.
When subsequently running last, the McLaren driver pleaded on the radio with the pitwall to "save this engine and gearbox" in the form of a voluntary retirement, but was told to "concentrate on the driving and leave the strategy to us".
Asked about Hamilton's request, former triple world champion Lauda told Germany's Bild newspaper: "I wouldn't have dared. A driver should drive because that's what he is paid to do.
"Everything else is decided by the bosses."
The Austrian great surmised that Hamilton's desire to quit the race early did "not make a good impression".
One of Briton Hamilton's bosses, however, does not agree. Norbert Haug, competition chief for the team's engine partner Mercedes, said Hamilton's radio call was "in order".