Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has sensationally announced that he has retired from Formula 1 with immediate effect.
Just 12 days after edging out teammate Lewis Hamilton to the World Drivers Championship, Rosberg has decided to call it a day on his F1 career. His reasons were clear. He had reached his 25 year goal of winning the championship and felt this was the time to finish. He has climbed his mountain and is ‘at the peak’, fulfilling his dream. His replacement is yet to be chosen, but Pascal Wehrlein is the favourite to fill the role.
Nico started his F1 career in 2006 where he represented Williams, scoring his first points while setting the fastest lap at his maiden Grand Prix. At the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, he scored his first ever podium. After a few mundane seasons at Williams, he made a big step and joined Mercedes in 2010 (created from Brawn who won the 2009 championship).
After back-to-back 7th places in the championship at Mercedes, his career took off. At the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, he won his first ever race. However, the rest of the season did not go to plan as he finished 9th in the championship, though did outclass teammate Michael Schumacher. Surprisingly, he was then joined by 1 time champion Lewis Hamilton, who was now his teammate. They had been friends all throughout their racing career.
In 2013, he scored 2 wins. Firstly, from pole position he won the Monacan Grand Prix. He followed that up with a win at Silverstone before finishing 6th in the championship, 2 places off Hamilton.
The 2014 regulation changes allowed Rosberg to have his most successful season yet. Winning 5 races, scoring 15 podiums and winning the pole position trophy, it was a very good season indeed. Unfortunately for Rosberg, it wasn’t quite enough to take the title and he finished in 2nd place, 67 points behind Hamilton, despite taking the championship to the last race.
2015 came and sadly another title chance went begging for Rosberg. Blighted by slightly worse reliability, he was comfortably beaten by Hamilton, with the Briton securing the title with 3 races to go. Still, 6 wins and 15 podiums was a very impressive effort from Rosberg who also won 3 in a row at the end of the season.
It was 2016 and with regulation changes looming for 2017, many felt this was Rosberg’s last chance at the title. Helped by Hamilton’s engine woes, Rosberg went on a charge at the start of the season. After 4 races, he had won all 4 and was leading Hamilton by 43 points. After crashing with his teammate at Spain, Rosberg had rain trouble in Monaco and after being hit wide by Hamilton in Canada, he had only 7th and 5th to show for his efforts.
Bouncing back with a win at Baku, the next 4 races nearly defined Rosberg’s season. As his teammate went on a 4 win spree, Rosberg could only manage 2 4th’s, a 3rd and a 2nd place. The summer break arguably came at a perfect time for Nico. And so it proved. With Hamilton at the back of the grid, it couldn’t have been easier for Rosberg as he won the Belgian Grand Prix. He won 3 of the next 4 including a stunning win at Singapore and a great comeback to 3rd at Malaysia after Hamilton’s engine failed.
With 4 races to go, 4 2nd places was enough to claim the title. He did exactly that. After surviving a soaking wet Brazil and Hamilton’s backing up games in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg claimed the title by 5 points. The Friday after, he announced his retirement.
Call him undeserving, not better than Hamilton or what ever you want. The latter is probably true, the former is not. He has worked so hard to become champion, working with Mercedes to build the car they have. He deserves every little bit of the championship and the emotion pouring out of him after the race was something to behold.
He had finally fulfilled his dream, and after 23 wins in 206 starts, he felt that he should finish at the top.
Thank you Nico, and enjoy everything else you do in life. You deserve it.
Featured Image: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/f1-leader-nico-rosberg-wins-german-grand-prix-1.2712531