|Mercedes AMG F1 driver and 2016 Formula 1 Champion Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement after two dozen seasons. The German revealed his retirement from F1 at the FIA Prize Giving in Vienna, Austria.|
The 31-year olf Rosberg has been racing for quarter of a century, having started Formula BMW Junior squad in 2001. “Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen,” Rosberg echoed.
Rosberg, who finally attained his F1 crown after the finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has competed in a total of 206 GPs and won 23 of them, placing him joint 12th on the all-time list alongside Nelson Piquet. He has scored 30 pole positions, eighth on the all-time list, and 20 fastest laps. The decision to retire rather suddenly was difficult for Rosberg, but he had to put other life priorities into consideration. “The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation. But Toto understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me. My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team.”
The 2016 F1 Champion’s journey in the sport started as test driver with the BMW Williams F1 Team in 2005. The following year, Rosberg quickly made an impression and took home four points in his rookie season. He spent another three seasons with Williams F1 and secured the highest drivers standings at 7th place in 2009, including two podium finishes.
The 2010 season saw Rosberg migrate to the top-tiered Mercedes AMG F1 team; the team he would race for until his imminent retirement. He finished his first year with Mercedes by capturing three podium finishes for 7th place in the standings. By the third year with Mercedes, Rosberg won his first-ever GP and secured his very first pole position.
The wins started to pile up in the next few years, and the arrival of Lewis Hamiton at Mercedes turned the team into a genuine contender. In 2014 and 2015 seasons, his rivalry with Hamilton became more intense, although Hamilton would eventually capture two consecutive titles. Rosberg managed to hold his own throughout the two seasons and finished runners up to his more favored team mate, with a grand total of 11 wins and 18 poles.
The 2016 season marked a breakthrough year for Rosberg as he finally ascended above his team mate’s much-favored position within the team. His nine wins, coupled with 8 poles, and consistent podium finishes ensured that the title belonged to him, at last. “This season, I tell you, it was so damn tough. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fuelled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before. When I won the race in Suzuka, from the moment when the destiny of the title was in my own hands, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I became Champion. On Sunday in Abu Dhabi, I knew that it could be my last race and that feeling cleared my head before the start. I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time… and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life. I took my decision to confirm retirement on Monday.”
Motorsportchannel.com would like to thank Nico for 12 incredible F1 seasons. We wish Nico and family the best of luck in future endeavors!