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Nico Rosberg announces retirement days after being crowned Formula One champion

Nico Rosberg, who drove for Mercedes, won his maiden Formula One title this season.

other-sports Updated: Dec 02, 2016 22:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won his first Formula One drivers championship in 2016.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won his first Formula One drivers championship in 2016.(AFP Photo)

Nico Rosberg, Germany’s newly crowned Formula One champion, dropped a bombshell on Friday by announcing his retirement from the sport.

Rosberg pipped his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by five points to complete only the sport’s second father-son duo to win the championship.

Briton Hamilton won the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and controversially slowed down in a bid to brighten his chances, but Rosberg held on to finish second and clinch his maiden title.

Nico Rosberg said in a statement on Facebook: “From the moment when the destiny of the title was in my own hands, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I became world champion.

“On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, I knew that it could be my last race and that feeling cleared my head before the start. I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time,” he added.

“I took my decision on Monday evening.”

“The thoughts started coming after Suzuka once the title became something real that I could get. The thing that gave me the most clarity was the thought [before Abu Dhabi] ‘OK, you’re going to win this today and this is going to be my last race’.”

Rosberg says the desire to spend time with his family — having a young daughter — is one of the reasons behind his retirement.

“Every time I was home [my wife] knew I needed to rest … she was always there to support and to make it as easy as possible ... having achieved my childhood dream ... I’m not willing to do that sort of commitment again.

First Published: Dec 02, 2016 19:03 IST

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