Nico Rosberg – now as a team principal in Extreme E – understands the pressure of the role, where he used to criticise his Mercedes’ F1 boss, Toto Wolff.
On the 2nd of December 2016, five days after being crowned F1 World Champion for the first time, Rosberg publicly announced his retirement from the sport. He is the only person that broke Lewis Hamilton’s domination of the hybrid era.
Speculation about the reasons behind his retirement mounted soon after the announcement, as the rivalry between the German and the Brit was abruptly halted by Rosberg’s decision to quit the sport. Also, the relationship between Rosberg and Mercedes F1 management was never tense – at least not publicly.
Since then, Rosberg has moved on from motorsport in racing capacity, but is involved as a pundit and also as co-owner/team principal of Extreme E’s Rosberg X Racing. This role has given him a chance to re-evaluate the moments where he was critical of his old boss, Wolff.
“I like to be involved and support where I can,” said Rosberg in a post-race press conference including FormulaRapida.net. “Of course, I have such a vast experience. I always have to be careful that I don’t intervene too much. There’s a fine line. But also, it’s a new challenge for me because I’ve never been on this opposite side of the road.
“Now I look back and when I used to criticise Toto, now I’m like, ‘Oh, shit, OK, maybe I shouldn’t criticise him’. It’s actually quite difficult to be in that role. Also, in the way you interact with the drivers. It’s hard to understand what the path is to be most supportive. But at the same time, it’s very interesting,” summed up Rosberg.
His role as a boss has received praise by his team driver and three-time FIA World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristoffersson. In the press conference, he had a chance to give his two cents on how Rosberg performs as a team principal.
“I have to say that it’s nice,” said Kristoffersson. “I like to have discussions with Nico, bringing up all the ideas. He likes to be in the moment of competition as well. He’s used to it. I think he also likes the position he is in now and he wants to be involved. It’s always good to have someone to discuss different things with and so on.”
With the completion of Ocean X Prix – which Rosberg’s team won – the next Extreme E round will be raced in Greenland on August 29. RXR leads the Teams’ Championship board, with Lewis Hamilton’s X44 in second place and Jenson Button’s JBXE in third.
Here’s how Ocean X Prix panned out
The story was written by Lorenzo Liegi