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Rosberg retires from F1


In a shock move, days after winning the title, Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement from F1, the first reigning world champion to end his career since Alain Prost in 1993.

"Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my 'one thing' to become Formula One World Champion," he told a stunned audience at today's FIA prizegiving in Vienna. "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.

"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. And of course that had an impact on the ones I love, too - it was a whole family effort of sacrifice, putting everything behind our target. I cannot find enough words to thank my wife Vivian; she has been incredible. She understood that this year was the big one, our opportunity to do it, and created the space for me to get full recovery between every race, looking after our daughter each night, taking over when things got tough and putting our championship first.

"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 World Champion. On Sunday morning 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 on Monday evening. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were Vivian and Georg (Nolte, from Nico's management team), followed by Toto.

"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 of people, the Silver Arrows.

"Now, I'm just here to enjoy the moment. There is time to savour the next weeks, to reflect on the season and to enjoy every experience that comes my way. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life and see what it has in store for me..."

"This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character," responded Toto Wolff. "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.

"It's impossible to capture the essence of a person in a few short words. But Nico has a special combination of natural talent and fighting spirit that have brought him to where he is today. Throughout his career, people have thought he was on a golden path to success just because his father was a World Champion; in fact, I think in some ways that made the challenge greater - and meant he had to fight even harder with the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

"With Mercedes, Nico has been a relentless competitor, bouncing back from tough times in an inspirational way, and he earned the respect of the sport with his tenacity, his fighting spirit and his grace under pressure. Since 2010, he has poured competitive energy into our team and we have grown stronger because of it. We simply say 'thank you' for the incredible contribution he has made to our success, alongside two of the all-time great drivers, Michael and Lewis.

"For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one. We are going into a new era of technical regulations and there is a free Mercedes cockpit for the seasons ahead. We will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and then find the right path for our future."

Without doubt one of the biggest shocks in F1 for many years, one which has brought the off-season screaming back to life as every man and his dog seeks the most desirable seat on the grid.

To mark the occasion, Mercedes has issued a number of 'behind the scenes' pictures following last Sunday’s race. Looking at them, seeing the sheer joy and intimacy of the Rosberg family, one can begin to understand Nico's decision.

See the gallery, here.


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1. Posted by PDA, 02/12/2016 20:53

"Hmm... "retiring from F1" . So will we see him in an MB in the DTM? European schedule, and not so intense as F1,but maybe a lot of fun."

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2. Posted by Nigtaylor, 02/12/2016 20:24

"Come on Jenson, take a crack at another season, a man with a talent prove you can do it, after they all called your 2009 champion as a 'Dodo Champion'"

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3. Posted by -ape-, 02/12/2016 18:41

"Finally freed from the pressure of Keke.

Enjoy you own life now Nico. !!"

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4. Posted by Kkiirmki, 02/12/2016 18:38

"If you're gotta go, go out on top. Well done Nico, for all your success, best wishes to you and your family."

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5. Posted by The Canadian, 02/12/2016 17:46

"Wow. What a shocker. You have to admire Nico for putting family first. I wish him all the best."

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6. Posted by Spindoctor, 02/12/2016 17:11

"As with everybody else, this came as a great surprise to me, but I agree with the general opinion that overall, this is probably the best thing for him to do. Let's hope he finds his retirement as fulfilling as he suggests, and that as others have suggested he returns to the sport in a suitable role."

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7. Posted by Sennapod, 02/12/2016 17:10

"Alonso, or maybe Button for his Brawn/Mercedes connection?"

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8. Posted by jasman, 02/12/2016 17:08

"It is reminiscent to 1973 when J. Stewart retired at the top of his game. I recall him saying something to the effect that he was burned out, and later that there was much more to life than F1. My best wishes to Nico Rosberg in his retirement."

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9. Posted by ryanhellyer, 02/12/2016 16:03

"I wonder if Jensen would come out of retirement for this?"

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10. Posted by Canuck, 02/12/2016 15:05

"I think the reference to Prost retiring as champion in '93 is apt for Rosberg. Like Prost who may not have been the fastest of his era, he was certainly the most cerebral driver of that time. I think Rosberg is much the same, and should have earned the title of Professor II. Rosberg as always been a gentleman on and off track, a hard worker and will greatly be missed. And like Prost after his first retirement, I hope we see you again. But for now you deserve a rest. "

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11. Posted by LukeP, 02/12/2016 15:02

"Well, that surprised me! ... Pascal Wehrlein not signed for Sauber yet has he? If not... my money's on him getting the seat."

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12. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 02/12/2016 14:41

"This is a brave but very sound decision - just like the man: Nico, you have made the right decision - for you, your family, your team and F1 - and I applaud you. After a well-deserved rest, come back to F1 and use your experience, intellect, innate toughness and linguistic and other skills in a management role: Delta Topco needs you.
Dieter Zenscher - if I were a Daimler-Benz director, I would advise you to follow suit:
- you have had three years of domination and pulling out at the top is in your history and DNA;
- of your two top-paid employees, one has left of his own volition and the other has likely broken his contract, so termination costs to them will be minimal;
- the new regulations offer the opportunity of the reward for proving DB's engineering adaptability and skill but also the risk of the unknown;
- a 'halfway-house' of continuing as a producer of engine-systems protects the investment already made, preserves jobs in both Germany and the UK and, literally, offers 'power without responsibility';
- the livelihoods of the F1 base could be preserved by a 'soft' transfer to a new professional owner (eg. Wolff/Lauda, Williams, Palmer - whose Autodrome base is 'just up the road' - or other proven, knowledgeable, stylish and respected person: viz. not Red Bull); and
- above all, DB would have 'made their point', as they have throughout motorsport history from its very early beginnings, well over a century ago, that, when they indulge in motorsport, they win, even when they 'dip in and out' at their w,ill whatever the rules at the time.
To use an English catchphrase you might not wholly understand: 'time to go, said Zebedee'.

Now then, that would give every motorsport journalist a Christmas present of opportunity for gossip, rumour,speculation - and, of course, earnings improvement: which all of you would dismiss as motivation -
but, nevertheless, rightly deserve ! ( Further to my previous post on Horner and the MateShits, I can be just as oleaginous: I was a merchant banker - of the old sort, now very retired !)
What next ?


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13. Posted by SteveAikens, 02/12/2016 14:00

"This is a huge disappointment to his fans. It IS understandable, he has achieved his goal and wants to leave while he's on top. I will miss watching his drive but wish him well."

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14. Posted by GrahamG, 02/12/2016 13:42

"The right thing to do if you have decided that your heart is no longer in it. Obviously wants to take time out to put family first, a mature and sensible decision.
May not have been absolutely a driver to compare with Alonso or Vettel, but pretty good and bears comparison with anyone else, not least for being brave enough to know when to quit.
I'm sure he will be back in one role or another when the time is right, even if not as a driver.
I think this puts Mercedes in a difficult position - who's going to want a seat alongside the world's No.1 prima donna? Maybe they should start afresh?"

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15. Posted by Redphyve, 02/12/2016 13:34

"I am shocked.

Did not see this coming. I never was a Nico fan but I respect him as a driver. sportsman and competitor.

Who will replace Nico?"

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