Nico Rosberg has today announced that he will immediately retire from Formula 1 after winning the World Championship.
The 31-year-old German driver had just secured his first World Championship title in Abu Dhabi last week. 34 Years after his father won it.
Now he has announced that after reaching “the peak” of his career it feels right to step down.
Rosberg said the thought had been in his mind for some time now and the time since Abu Dhabi had cleared his mind and helped him to make the decision.
In a video message he thanked all his fans for the support they gave him throughout the seasons and especially during his time at Mercedes AMG F1. He went on saying that this season had been the most intense one for him, especially after missing the title twice in the years before to his teammate Lewis Hamilton. His wife and everyone else had supported him in a great manner and given him the strength to work as hard as never before this season.
Team Boss Toto Wolff said that it took him “completely by surprise” but he added that he sees the decision as being very “brave” and “a testament to the strength of his character”. The team will have to look out for a driver who replaces Rosberg in the AMG F1 in the next season but no information on who that will be is available yet.
Even though many have expressed their surprise about the decision of Rosberg, who has been the first driver to step down as standing World Champion since Alain Prost in 1993, the reactions are full of respect and support. The BBC commented the decision saying that it is a “classy move from a classy man”.
Multiple drivers have commented on the decision by the German, expressing their sympathy towards him and his decision.
Big respect 👏🏻
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) 2. Dezember 2016
Respect my friend! @nico_rosberg
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) 2. Dezember 2016
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) 2. Dezember 2016
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) 2. Dezember 2016