Formula One News & Updates: Reigning World Champion Nico Rosberg Announces His Retirement, Racing World In Shock
Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula One just five days after he won the World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
The 2016 Formula One World Champion first announced the decision on Facebook, before attending a press conference later. On the FIA ceremony in Vienna on Friday, Nico Rosberg goes to say, "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."
He added that he is grateful to his wife Vivian, for taking care of their daughter, Alaïa, since he had to miss so much while he was focused with F1. When Rosberg was asked if there were any plans that he would come back, he responded that his F1 career is officially over, saying "finished. Done. End of story." The World Champion would rather focus on his future as a father and a husband and spend more time with his family.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes boss, has said that he didn't try to talk Rosberg out of retirement when he informed him of his decision. In a statement, Wolff goes on to say that, "This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character. He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as world champion, having achieved his childhood dream. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me."
Most of the current and former F1 drivers also expressed their surprise at Rosberg's announcement. Only his rival Lewis Hamilton didn't seem fazed by it, saying "This is the first time he's won [a title] in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop. He's also got a family to focus on, and wants more children, and Formula One takes so much of your time. Will I miss the rivalry? Of course."
During the course of his career, Nico Rosberg has competed in 206 grands prix, with 30 pole positions and 23 wins from races. The son of Finnish 1982 Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg, he ended his 18-year racing career at its peak. It's a stunning, yet perfect finish for his legacy.