Newly-crowned Formula One champion Nico Rosberg made a shocking announcement on Friday of his retirement from racing with immediate effect.
Rosberg stunned all while revealing his decision just five days after winning his maiden title, and said he isn’t willing to put himself through the wringer, choosing not to make sacrifices again after achieving his long cherished dream.
Rosberg made the announcement at a Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) press conference where he received the trophy for becoming the world champion. He then wrote a lengthy farewell speech on Facebook.
Rosberg beat off a strong challenge from his team-mate and fierce rival Britain’s Lewis Hamilton to win the F1 title despite finishing second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
“For me it is a very special day to receive the trophy this evening. It is going to be amazing but for another reason: I want to take the opportunity to announce to end F1 career,” Rosberg was cited as saying by motorsport.com.
“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 wrote on Facebook.
The German said his desire to spend more time with his family is one of the reasons behind his sudden decision.”
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Rosberg narrowly missed out on the world title in the last two seasons, losing to Hamilton. They developed a controversial and tumultuous relationship despite being team-mates.
At Abu Dhabi, Hamilton even deliberately tried to drive slowly in order to allow other drivers apart from Rosberg to make a podium finish (top three) behind him.
Rosberg needed to produce a podium finish to win the title. He came in second to snatch the F1 crown from Hamilton.
“…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,” the 31-year-old wrote on Facebook.
“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.”
Rosberg didn’t give any clear indication of what he will do in the future.
“My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrow.”
”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…,” he concluded.