Nico Rosberg won the Formula 1 title on Sunday. He beat his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the series finale in Abu Dhabi to win the title. Five days later, he announced his plans to retire from the sport. Within hours, the rest of the field was lining up to take his place on the Mercedes team.
“This Feels Right”
Rosberg, 31 and from Germany, had this to say during his announcement: “I have my mountain. I am on the peak, so this feels right.” Out of the 21 grand prix races held this season, Rosberg won nine of them to beat out Lewis, who has won the F1 title three times in his career. The margin of victory was a bare five points.
He further said, “For 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing,’ to become Formula 1 world champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it.”
In response to an inquiry about whether there was any chance he would return later, Rosberg said, “No, definitely not. End of story. Done.”
Son of Another Famous F1 Pilot
Rosberg is the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg. He made his F1 debut driving for Williams at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006 and had a respectable seventh place finish. It took him 10 years to win his first title, a total of 206 races. This puts him in second place for the longest wait for a first title behind Nigel Mansell.
Hamilton, who beat Rosberg out for the title the last two years, had this to say of now ex-teammate: “He has a family he wants to focus on, and F1 takes so much from you. It is definitely going to be strange and it will be sad to not have him in the team next year.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told the media that the announcement took him “completely by surprise. This is a brave decision by Nico and a testament to the strength of his character. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me. We now have to consider options and we will start looking at it Monday.”
Wolff also stated that this season proved that “he is the best driver in Formula 1 today and the points show that.”
Over a career that spanned ten years, Rosberg competed in 206 grand prix races and won 23 of them. He also stood on the podium 57 times. He spent a few years in GP2 and moved up to F1 as the reigning champ of GP2 in 2006 with Williams.