2016 World Champion makes a surprise move to step away from F1; thoughts turn to who will fill his seat

Nico Rosberg is retiring from Formula 1 in a surprise move following his World Championship win.

The 31-year-old German announced his decision to depart the sport on Facebook this afternoon, stating that his proudest achievement was this year’s title win.

Mercedes-AMG F1 confirms Valtteri Bottas for 2017

“Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion,” he said. “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.”

Rosberg leaves after 206 races in the world’s top formula with 23 wins and the 2016 title to his name.

“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,” he continued. “But [Mercedes executive director] Toto [Wolff] understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me.”

Rosberg’s unexpected move leaves a seat at constructor’s championship winning team Mercedes open for the taking. Mercedes is yet to reveal who will partner Lewis Hamilton for its 2017 campaign.

Join the debate

Comments
52

2 December 2016
and disappointed he wont defend it but good luck to him all the same. Achieved his dream.

2 December 2016
for Mercedes to "Button up", and have the two reunite for some ol' school all-British rivalry?

2 December 2016
... Max Verstappen poached from Red Bull - he has real talent, in the mould of the great Ayrton Senna.

2 December 2016
This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

2 December 2016
Roadster wrote:

This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

Regardless of talent, I know which Mercedes driver I'd rather see leaving the sport and it isn't Rosberg.

2 December 2016
Marc wrote:
Roadster wrote:

This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

Regardless of talent, I know which Mercedes driver I'd rather see leaving the sport and it isn't Rosberg.

The problem is racist preconceptions doesn't change the undeniable fact Lewis is a phenomenal driver.

2 December 2016
The Apprentice wrote:
Marc wrote:
Roadster wrote:

This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

Regardless of talent, I know which Mercedes driver I'd rather see leaving the sport and it isn't Rosberg.

The problem is racist preconceptions doesn't change the undeniable fact Lewis is a phenomenal driver.

Racist! You presumptuous cunt. What the fuxk has race got to do with it.

2 December 2016
Does that mean that Alain Prost was not deserving of the 1986 World Championship because of Mansell's puncture at Adelaide, or that James Hunt was not a worthy Champion in 76 because of Lauda's crash. It's only in recent times that Formula One cars have approached a decent level of reliability. Go back a decade or 2 and reliability issues probably settled a good many Championships. I applaud Rosberg's win and wish him well.

 

2 December 2016
Roadster wrote:

This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

I was thinking the same thing. He's quitting because he knows he's got bugger all chance of keeping the title.

4 December 2016
Roadster wrote:

This is more a case that Rosberg knows he's not good enough and was lucky to win the title this year thanks to Hamilton's car failures and bad luck and that next year, he'd struggle against Lewis who is far superior (assuming Lewis doesn't have bad luck again). Otherwise, if he knew he was as good, he'd stay and put up a fight to defend his fortunate title. Nico is average and only became champion thanks to someone else's misfortunes.

Hamilton’s luck wasn’t that bad, he only had one extra DNF, two-to-one. And over his career he has nothing to moan about, he has the lowest percentage of career technical failure DNFs of any of the 33 world champions, at around six percent, one per cent below Rosberg’s.

Perhaps Hamilton should bear that in mind when he compares himself and his achievements, as he so likes to do, to Ayrton, who had over three times the failure rate. The likes of Clark, Stewart, Mansell and Lauda had about five times the percentage of technical DNFs in their careers.

Hamilton really hasn’t got anything to complain about, yet even today, following the Rosberg news, he is quoted as saying he wishes Rosberg well, but isn’t surprised by the decision because it’s the first time Rosberg has won in eighteen years competition between them, and he has a young family. Why could he not just have said he wasn’t surprised because Rosberg has a young family and left it at that?

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?