Nico Rosberg is hanging up his helmet for good right after achieving ultimate glory in Formula 1.
Only five days removed from winning the Formula 1 championship for the first time in his career, he released a statement on his Facebook page stating he was retiring from the sport.
“Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target,” Rosberg said. “And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen.
He went on to say he started contemplating retirement after his victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka which put the course of the championship in his control.
“On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, I knew that it could be my last race and that feeling cleared my head before the start,” he said. “I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time… and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life.”
Rosberg sat on the idea of retirement for a day before telling Vivian (his wife), Georg (Nolte, from Nico’s management team) and Mercedes AMG Petronas Executive Director Toto Wolff in that order, according to his Facebook statement.
“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 added. “But Toto understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me. My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrows.”
He concluded his post saying he’s “just here to enjoy the moment. There is time to savour the next weeks, to reflect on the season and to enjoy every experience that comes my way. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life and see what it has in store for me…”
He made the retirement official in a press conference in Vienna.
He began his career at Bahrain in 2006 driving for Williams. It was during his time with Mercedes that his career took off and he shed the status of journeyman.
His tenure with the team was also notable for his at times rocky relationship with teammate Lewis Hamilton. The two drivers in four seasons together had many run-ins with each other that turned their relationship into a rivalry.
Following the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it appears their relationship is one of mutual respect. As of the publishing of this piece, Hamilton has not released a statement in regards to his teammate retiring.
Rosberg retires with 23 wins, 57 podium finishes, 1594.5 career points, 30 pole starts, 20 fastest laps and one title in 206 starts.