Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche has revealed to Autocar the moment he discovered that Nico Rosberg was retiring from Formula 1.

And – of course – he was getting out the shower. “I was stepping out of the shower lacking any clothes - which I normally do when I get out of the shower! And my phone was ringing,” Zetsche explained.

“And I saw it was Toto [Wolff, Mercedes F1 boss] and I thought, oh again, something with Lewis! But then I got the news. And I did not expect that, I must say.”

But Zetsche said he was quick to accept the move by Rosberg to step away from the F1 circus.

He continued: “I respected that decision. I mean, obviously, one [Hamilton] is saying 'I want more and more and I want to break more records and make history', and the other one [Rosberg] is saying 'well, I finally fulfilled my life dream and what can be on top of that?', and both approaches are legitimate.”

Zetsche acknowledged it would have been easier for the team if Rosberg had stayed, given that it would have meant having two world champions behind the wheel: “Of course, it would have been easier and more pleasant for us to have two world champions in our team for the season to come - not necessarily less fight but this was part of the entertainment, and now we need a new driver and that’s how life works. And so I was not insulted or totally disappointed. I respected his decision."