F1 Formula one World Champion Nico Rosberg retiring
Chris Medland / Image by LAT
Nico Rosberg has shocked the F1 world by retiring from the sport with immediate effect, just days after winning the 2016 drivers’ world championship in Abu Dhabi.
The German made the surprise announcement during a press conference at the FIA Prize Giving in Vienna on Friday, saying he has achieved a childhood dream in becoming world champion.
“I have decided to end my Formula 1 career at this moment," Rosberg said. "To explain, ever since I started, since I was six years old, I had a very clear dream and that was to become Formula One world champion. It was very, very clear in my mind for as long as I was growing up. Now I've achieved that.
"I've put everything into it for 25 years of racing and with the help of everybody around me. With the help of fans, with the help of my team around me, my family and friends, I've managed to achieve that this year. So it's been an incredible experience for me which I will remember forever.
"At the same time thought it has been very, very tough. The last two years losing to Lewis were extremely difficult moments for me which fuelled my motivation in a way that I didn't even know was possible, to fight back.”
Explaining the motivation behind his decision, Rosberg said he is unwilling to make the same commitment to defend the world championship after he and his family had to make so many sacrifices, with the 31-year-old becoming a father last year.
"This year was extremely tough because I put everything into it. I didn’t leave a stone unturned from Austin last year really, where I suffered a lot after that loss. So I pushed like crazy along with everyone who was involved, which is also my family. A lot of sacrifices.
"My wife, for example, at home. Every time I was at home she understood I needed to rest, so I never did any nights, I never had to take care of our little daughter. I never did any nights, never did any difficult things. She was always there to support and to make it as easy as possible, and that's just one example of the commitment we put into it.
"I've achieved this childhood dream now and I’m not willing to do that sort of commitment again for another year. I'm not interested in coming fourth or whatever. I'm a fighter and I want to win. I'm not interested to do that again, I don't want to do it again so I decided to follow my heart which told me to stop there, call it a day and go on to other things.
"It's been wonderful and it just feels right to me. I'm very excited, my wife Vivian is also very excited, she'll have her husband back and I'll be a dad again then in the next time, which is going to be wonderful."
Rosberg's final ride
Sunday, 04 December 2016
RACER Staff / Images courtesy Daimler
World champion Nico Rosberg, teammate and three-time champion Lewis Hamilton and their Silver Arrows crew paid a visit to the Mercedes-Benz family at its plant in Sindelfingen to say thank you on Saturday.
Rosberg took some demo laps in what is likely to be his final time in an F1 machine. Hamilton, Pascal Wehrlein and Esetaban Ocon also got behind the wheel, as did junior talents such as Maximillian Gunther and Mick Schumacher. David Coulthard, Bernd Mayländer and DTM record champion Bernd Schneider were also in attendance.
Rosberg took the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone at Mercedes-Benz after announcing his retirement. More than 16,000 employees and their families accepted the invitation to visit Sindelfingen for the celebration, which included employee pit stop contests and a DTM driving simulator. Rosberg said the events of the whirlwind past week had been surreal.
"At last, I got my hands on the championship trophy," Rosberg told the crowd. "For me, a childhood dream had come true. And now here I am today, standing in front of so many Mercedes-Benz employees and thanking them for the huge support they have given me and my motorsport family over the past years. I will never forget you. This is a very special feeling.
"It's been long and difficult road, but 2016 was my best ever Formula 1 season and I've also driven my best races this year. The whole thing was just mega."
Hamilton, who knows the post-championship celebration well, said he was relishing the upcoming winter break after having "given my absolute best this season."
"It is a real privilege to be part of this team and this brand, and to achieve such great success with this incredible bunch of guys," he said. "When I joined the team, I never dreamed that I would win so many races. Last Sunday was my 32nd grand prix win in a Silver Arrow. I am really grateful for this, and I thank each and every member of the team at our various sites.
"I've been a part of the Mercedes motorsport family since I was a child, and I've contested every one of my Formula 1 races in a Mercedes-powered car. It is therefore all the more important for me to be here today, at the heart of the company in Germany, and to say a big thank-you to all my colleagues here. I always draw so much strength and motivation from your support."
BUXTON: Hello, Goodbye
Tuesday, 06 December 2016
Will Buxton / Images by LAT
We'd joked about it, of course. When he held a 43-point lead in the early championship standings it looked clear that 2016 would be Nico Rosberg's best chance at winning the championship. If he didn't take the trophy he'd be finished. And if he did, he'd probably do best to retire.
But nobody, and I mean nobody, ever saw this coming.
There are few who could blame him for taking the decision he has. It takes a big man to take stock of his life at such a comparatively young age and to decide that he had achieved all he wanted to in the field to which he had dedicated himself since he was barely out of diapers. How many of us, were we in his position, with his bank balance, a wife and a baby, wouldn't love to have walked off into the sunset?
But from a sporting perspective, there's a dilemma. Perhaps it's our problem. That we don't see elite sportsmen and women as normal people like the rest of us. Their competitive desires run deeper, their dedication sets them apart. Their want and their need to fight is what makes them special, and it is that which made us put them on a pedestal in the first place. And so when we see that they're just regular folk, we feel a tinge of disappointment.
Rosberg's announcement filled me with such a quandary. Because while on the one hand I could completely understand his want and his need to stop the travel, end the separation and cease the single-minded focus that comes with racing around in circles, on the other hand, as a fan of his and of the sport, I'd hoped so much he'd hang around.
He had finally beaten Lewis Hamilton to a championship for the first time in his life. After soundly drubbing Michael Schumacher for three years as teammates, Nico Rosberg could hold his head up as having taken on and defeated two of the finest drivers this sport has ever seen. Freed from the constraints and the pressures that winning a first world championship places on a racer, I was so looking forward to seeing just how good he could become. I was excited to witness how Lewis Hamilton would react and redouble his efforts for 2017 and what incredible heights to which the two drivers would push each other next year and beyond.
Selfishly, I wanted more. And I'm so sad the sport won't ever get to see that.
I'm also sad because, even in victory, questions had been raised over whether Rosberg was a worthy world champion. Whether he genuinely deserved his crown. Debate had always raged over his overall racecraft and in particular his ability not only to attack but to defend. Did he ever truly have the stomach for a fight?
That he has walked away without taking on the defense of a title he had worked so hard to achieve will answer that question for some. For others, it will forever leave question marks hanging over whether he truly merits a place among the all-time greats. And that is a great shame.
It’s a great shame also for Mercedes, and in particular his side of the garage. Niki Lauda has spoken of how badly many on Nico’s team have taken the news. This was their championship too, but the man who helped them achieve it has simply taken the plaudits and walked away. Speaking to a rival team boss, he told me he’d have been devastated if his driver had picked up his trophy and quit. Having a world champion on your team is an unrivalled gift for your team and your partners. For the next 12 months, no matter what else happens, he and you are the focal point. It’s why Sir Jackie Stewart always said winning back-to-back titles was so hard. The increase in promotional responsibilities that comes with being world champion makes winning the title the next year all the harder. But you do the tour, you say the right things, smile when asked and take the photos, because you recognize your position, your good fortune and your responsibility. You pay your dues.
Mercedes, its partners, its sponsors and its staff have lost that.
They’ve also lost a damn fine driver.
Rosberg - 'There's more to life than driving in circles'
Monday, 23 January 2017
Chris Medland / Images by LAT
Nico Rosberg has explained some more of the reasoning behind his shock retirement from Formula 1 at the end of last year.
Having become F1 drivers' champion for the first time with second place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Rosberg duly announced his retirement from the sport with immediate effect five days later at the FIA Prize Giving in Vienna. The decision threw Mercedes' plans for 2017 into disarray, with the team only able to name Rosberg's replacement – former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas – last week.
At the same time as the Bottas announcement, Rosberg was named as a Mercedes ambassador and made a number of public appearances in the week that followed, taking the opportunity to give further context to his decision to retire.
"To do sport at the highest level it's really 110% focus that is required, and there's no room for any compromise whatsoever, at least that's the way that I went about it," Rosberg said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "So everything else is secondary, and far behind. That's even family – I have a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter now – it's friends, it's any other fun, exciting projects or whatever. Everything is way, way behind.
"So there's a time for everything. I find life has more to offer than driving 'round in circles and it just felt like the right moment. I want to go for new challenges, that's it. Of course there's the side of having more time now for my family, which is going to be wonderful, having more time for friends and being in control of my own life as well now.
"For the last 21 years of racing – even starting as a 10-year-old – the whole season is planned by other people, telling you where you need to be all the time. Especially then in F1, it's just really, really intense. The traveling, the working days, this and that, is just planned all the way through. Now, all of a sudden, it's freedom. I can decide, 'Do I want to be on this stage with you?' Yeah, I want to be here. And where do I want to be tomorrow? With my family. OK, good. It's just complete freedom."
Rosberg says the appeal of being able to end his F1 career with his biggest achievement was appealing, and admits he has still to decide which opportunities he wants to pursue next in life.
"There's no right or wrong, everybody must find their way and figure out what's best for them. For me, the feeling started to come up that it would be perfect from my point of view to stop if I achieved my mission in racing and my dream of winning the championship, to end it there.
"To walk out at the absolute peak, at the best I can do in this life – in racing – I think that was it. To say, 'OK, it has been awesome, fantastic years' and close that chapter, take the memory of my last race being the best race and my last championship being my best championship and take that into the next chapter in life.
"I feel very much fulfilled in terms of my career, I can look back and say, 'OK, I've ticked all of the boxes of what I wanted to achieve' and now I'm very excited about the next steps. There are so many opportunities. I will keep pushing, of course – I need my adrenaline rush and I still want to make a difference in different areas. Let's see what the future holds and which directions I will be taking."
01-23-2017 03:10 PM
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