Huge surprise in Formula 1! Today, Friday December 2, 2016, Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement after accomplishing the dream of his life: becoming World Champion. Thus, the German leaves a seat in Mercedes, and an enormous expectation on who will be chosen to occupy that position.
It seemed that the Great Circus was going to take a relaxed and quiet Christmas holiday until February, where preparations for the next season would begin. But no, 2017 has just started and Nico Rosberg, recently crowned F1 World Champion, has given up on continue racing next year.
The German driver has surprised everybody and is now the front page of all the world’s sports media. After achieving his dream, he does not want to continue, he does not want to keep the title next year, and retires in search of a quieter life to pay attention to the family needs rather than the professional, which he says, have already reached the summit.
In this way, even taking his own team by surprise, Rosberg announced last Monday that he was leaving the team. Hence, now there is a more than desired vacancy in Mercedes, winning team of the last three seasons. There are a few names that have already appeared in the minutes after the big news, and there is no doubt that the expectation will be maximum in the coming days until unveiling the name of the fortunate who can sit in the champion car next 2017. A whole turn in the drivers’ market that seemed already closed.
Rosberg has achieved great thing in his F1 career: 23 wins, 30 poles, 20 fast laps, 57 podiums and the current 2016 title plus the runner-up of the previous two years. After winning the GP2 Series in 2005 against Lewis Hamilton, the German driver signed for Williams until 2009, with a first podium finish at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix.
In 2010, he entered Mercedes to start a promising project alongside seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who was beaten by Nico in the three seasons they spent together until 2012. That same year, Rosberg achieved his first win in China, but it would also be the season in which Lewis Hamilton signed with Mercedes to be his future partner from 2013. Starting the new hybrid era in 2014 with the inaugural victory in Australia, Nico would be runner-up that year and the next, but finally, in 2016, he ended up achieving his life dream: the World Championship.
This has been the emotional farewell message that Nico Rosberg has shared by social networks this midday, and has caused a great media impact around the world:
“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.
“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…”