Rosberg stuns F1 by announcing retirement

2016 F1 season

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Nico Rosberg has stunned the motor racing world by announcing he will not return to defend his Formula One crown next year.

The world champion will vacate his seat at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton, leaving one of the most coveted drives on the grid available just months away from the start of the new season.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016
Rosberg’s 11-year F1 career in pictures
Rosberg made his Formula One debut in 2006 with Williams before moving to Mercedes in 2010.

Nico Rosberg’s retirement announcement

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.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.

This season, I tell you, it was so damn tough. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fuelled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before. And of course that had an impact on the ones I love, too – it was a whole family effort of sacrifice, putting everything behind our target. I cannot find enough words to thank my wife Vivian; she has been incredible. She understood that this year was the big one, our opportunity to do it, and created the space for me to get full recovery between every race, looking after our daughter each night, taking over when things got tough and putting our championship first.

When I won the race in Suzuka, 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… and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life. I took my decision on Monday evening. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were Vivian and Georg (Nolte, from Nico’s management team), followed by Toto.

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. 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.

Now, I’m 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..”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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477 comments on “Rosberg stuns F1 by announcing retirement”

  1. Well, this is something you never heard before in F1!

    1. @Biggsy: What’s that supposed to mean?

      To me it’s just a big shock, but also understandable from his point of view.

      1. I posted this before there was any info or a statement, so I was just saying it’s a kind of a shock you never saw in F1. Nobody quit this abruptly after becoming the champion. Everyone else like Prost, Mansel etc. knew it or were pushed out.

        1. “And on that bombshell…”

          Staggering news. Total shocker. Never saw that coming.

          1. @keithcollantine
            The fact that there weren’t some insiders suggesting this news, or some leaks or speculations, means it really did came from the hearth and really just in a matter of days. If anyone except him and his wife knew it, we would’ve heard at least some speculations in the days prior to this.

          2. How bad is Mercs 2017 Car? ;-)

          3. I don’t particularly like Rosberg.

            But this right here, this is a baller move.

          4. Stunning yeah.
            But now it makes sense why Esteban Ocon jumped to FI ahead of Pascale Wehrlein ;)

          5. Keith you got the date wrong…april fools is a few months away…

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd December 2016, 15:46

          @Lee1 ha-ha-ha good one! It’s based off the GL model with the driver sitting up high for better visibility.

          1. @Lee1 @Michael with chain wheels for better grip!

    2. But I completely understand it, if it’s about having things he finds more important with limited time we all have. He just got a daughter, and in F1 unless you are 100% committed, you aren’t doing it right. Understanding that dedicating his time to his wife and child is more important than dedicating it to F1. You can’t really do both properly at the same time. He has all the money and achievements he could need. He is now an F1 champion and there’s really not much more he could do except just adding to it, but the goal is achieved.

      1. Now that the statement is out, I see that it was exactly that. And that is pretty much the reality. For drivers who have kids, I really don’t see a reason or justification to continue driving if they have already won the title. The sacrifice needed in order to do it right means that the family has to be put on hold and that’s not fair at all, if you consider the fact that you have realized your dream and have absolutely no financial reasons to keep doing it either.

      2. It’s clearly the zenith of his career, it’s like Jenson’s 2009 season. He had by far the best car and pipped his teammate to the title with more than a little luck. Realistically it will be downhill from here like it was for Jenson. Both very good drivers but not realistically ever going to challenge for multiple titles over a long period of time. I think it was a good decision.

        1. Though if Jenson had left at the end of 2009, we would never have had his victory at the 2011 Canadian GP, which I think might be the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen in F1.

          1. Agreed.

            Absolutely astonishing race.

        2. Fully agree johnm, very difficult for anyone to have predicted this, but with that wonderful
          substance called hindsight, and simply because, for his many supporters the last few years
          have been mercilessly painful for us all, something like this is what Jenson Button should have
          done at least three seasons back. He lived on empty promises from failing teams for way, way
          too many seasons. Heartbreaking really. Both Rosberg and Button should have achieved so
          much more.

          But ‘could have, would have, should have’ is a dud coinage. Rosberg has seen through
          it all and has quit while he is at the top of his game. A very wise move. Well done Rosberg.

          And now of course…….the jockeying starts……oh boy is this going to shake things up !

    3. Jackie Stewart retired before the start of the 1973 US Grand Prix, after Francois Cevert died in practice. JWS was world driving champion that season.

      1. Gary, on the other hand, it was already known that Stewart intended to retire by the end of that season – Rosberg, by contrast, signed a contract extension at the end of July, barely four months ago.

        1. Im sure i read in a Jackie Stewart book that only he, ken tyrrel and the boss of ford (walter somebody iirc) knew of his decision

      2. @Gary. Agreed, and frankly if Jackie hadn’t retired….maybe 5-6 WCs? Up until Lauda…who could have challenged him? And even then…Jackie was fast AND a master of the long game.

      3. Wow, did not see that coming. All the best to Nico whatever he decides to do next.

    4. Nico will get bored and try a come back in a couple of years. Happened to Schumacher, happened to Kimi… in other sports, happened to Michael Jordan.

      Sometimes you think it’s time to quick only to realize, by experience, that you were wrong. Bring in Pascal and see what he can do, if Mercedes wants a powerful duo bring in Alonso and give the chance to rewrite his destiny.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd December 2016, 14:58

        His wife would have stopped him or at least asked him to think about it. He’s breaking his contract to do this and Mercedes is obviously letting him. He fought so hard to renew this contract even bringing Gerhard Berger into the mix…

        It doesn’t make any sense at all and I’m a family guy more than anything.

        No one would be surprised if Alonso quit but Nico quitting makes no sense whatsoever and neither does the team’s behavior over the year if you play it back logically…

        1. Disagree. He did not fight hard to renew his contract. It was a mere formality. And it doesn’t have to make sense to you, only him and his family. Your last paragraph makes no sense.

          1. @robbie

            It’s Michael, he doesn’t always make sense…

        2. I’m with Robbie. Mind clarifying your last paragraph?

    5. Not? Hawthorn ’58, Stewart ’73 and Prost ’93 ;)

  2. He just became my hero forever.

    1. There is a guy who has figured out his work / life balance. He achieved his dream, so no regrets, but he’s also not going to put his family through the strain any longer.

      We tend to forget how hard the season is. It’s not like most sports where they play half your games at home. They are travelling all the time, to the factory, to practice tracks, to races. Their spouse can only follow them if they have no career of their own. It’s not a good sport if you are raising a family. And that doesn’t even take the danger into account.

      Nico has achieved something amazing, but at what cost? How many wonderful moments involving his daughter has he missed? What friction has it caused at home? I totally understand his decision.

      1. Hear hear! (See my comment way down below)

        1. What a hero, wdc, bye, family is more important. Respect.

          1. Well said. I’d still prefer he was racing but I respect his decision.

      2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        2nd December 2016, 20:13

        Couldn’t have said it better

    2. +1 what a tremendously brave move. He is a strong character.
      *respect*

      1. That is one interpretation. Other one is completely opposite, that he is an absolute coward, that he knows it is very unlikely for him be so lucky again …

        1. Bitter Lewis fan much?

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          3rd December 2016, 10:08

          Very encouraging to see so many hardcore Hamilton fans supporting and respecting Rosberg’s move. This is one of the most positive and aligned comments sections in years.
          But of course there’re always a few nutters who keep playing with themselves in their little cocoons.

        3. Thanks Bahman. Think you’re right. A true champion would try to achieve to win year after year. Probably tried to live up to his father all of his live, acchieved it now, everybody happy and now he can live his live like he wants to with his family. Top family guy, not so top driver.

          1. Yep nothing left to prove… But did he really prove anything?

            best of luck Rosberg.

            All this coming just when the German Grand Prix needed a figure head.

          2. Nico just beat
            Lewis
            Seb
            Fred
            Jenson
            Kimi

            any other currently driving world champions i forgot, ? he proved a lot,

            not to mention he beat Kvyat and Massa :)

  3. Did Jenson know about this? Could we see him in a Mercedes next season? ;-)

    1. Whatabout Max Chilton? He is British too…

    2. Button is still contractually obligated to McLaren through 2017, but who knows if that means much.

  4. This news is a massive shock.

    The other day in a comment on this site I wondered how winning title would affect Rosberg, whether having achieved his lifelong ambition his motivation and performances would drop next year or if the championship win would give him confidence and belief and raise his level, I never expected something like this.

    To announce the decision so soon after sealing the title means it must have been his plan for a while to retire if he ever won the title.

    You can understand his decision in a way, he is a multimillionaire so never has to work again and he has a young family so better to retire now from a dangerous sport when he is still healthy and can enjoy his life.

    You could also say he realizes how lucky he was this year and that he will never come close to repeating the feat of beating Hamilton and winning the world title again so why bother continuing, but I would have thought that someone who loved the sport would still continue given he will still be with a top team.

    1. Georges Geagea
      2nd December 2016, 13:34

      I agree to all the points you made!
      In all cases, good luck to him with his future!

    2. This means that racing fans will never know if a world championship would have raised Rosberg’s game, as suggested by so many other drivers who have commented in the past that winning changes and improves you as a driver.

      One inevitable spectre this will raise over him will be that he has quit to avoid losing to Hamilton next year. I don’t buy that one, because Rosberg has gone toe to toe with Webber, Schumacher, and Hamilton as teammates, none of whom are shrinking violets, and he hasn’t backed down, even when you can see from the outside the pressure was getting to him. These are people who have made great drivers look ordinary, and Rosberg has given all of them a very serious challenge over the years. You don’t beat Hamilton over one lap, or a race, never mind a season, if you’re ordinary.

      He deserved the championship given his three years fighting hard with Lewis, and as a race fan I’m gutted we won’t get to see the sort of fight we were hoping for next year.

      1. racing fans will never know if a world championship would have raised Rosberg’s game…
        By retiring, I think he has perhaps answered that question.

      2. Yes, if you look at his history purely based on his performance against other top drivers, and their results against others, there is actually a solid case that he is one of the best drivers ever in the sport. And it should not be really a surprise, because he came into the sport with a stellar resume from karts forward built in the same era as Hamilton built his (but without Hamilton being teleported from GP2 to a WDC-capable car).

      3. He didn’t really beat Hamilton, Hamilton was beaten by his engines.

    3. I’m massively shocked too @pja. I’m a Lewis fan and over the last 4 years, Rosberg has gone from a driver I liked to “the enemy”, I find that seems to happen when a rival driver is locked in a title battle with my favourite driver, but he was an enemy that I really respected and had admiration for.

      I was really looking forward to the resumption of the battle between champion team mates next season, and seeing how they responded to the events of this year, amidst a likely robust challenge from other teams. Now I find myself grieving for loss of such a formidable rival. I’m hoping that he changes his mind, but I totally respect his decision, I have a young family too and it certainly does change your outlook on life. We and the sport will certainly miss him.

    4. Rosberg lucked into the Driver’s Championship and is legging it while the going is good.

      1. I agree and Merc knew this earlier in the season in my view.

        I have I to laughter though – when the 2017 regs were released I thought ‘that’s not going to suit NR’

        I guess the data from the simulator showed that… Somewhere in the season about when Toto and Lauda seemed to take leave of their senses and make the world think the driver usually at fault was the innocent party.

        Hilarious and I bet Sir Jackie feels a real idiot about now…

        1. What is this comment? Utter rubbish

        2. @Drg
          Would you please explain your comment more?

      2. Sour much?

        Rosberg is a legend.

      3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        2nd December 2016, 20:19

        No driver would do that

      4. Rosberg lucked into the championship? How soon everyone forgets all of Hamilton’s poor starts and sub par races. Anyone who really understands F1 will always know that being the fastest driver isn’t enough to win the title. EVERY race has equal weight and it’s the driver who can maintain focus and consistency over EVERY race that wins. Hamilton had 5-6 races where he lost his focus and wasn’t 100%. Nico was much more consistent. Reliability didn’t cost Hamilton the championship, he lack of focus and his poor starts did that.

        1. Hamilton was winning the championship in Malaysia, even with all his poor starts, are you forgetting that?

  5. OMG!!! Classy man indeed! Big balls…

    I think all drivers has now very hot phones, who the hell is going to Merc now?!

    1. I think he just become a F1 legend forever…

      1. you must be joking!

    2. Merc….should get VES. Then let’s see how the ballerina handles this kid in an equal car (and in the rain)…..imagine the team radio transcripts. “But he didn’t leave me room!” “He’s deliberately backing me into Vettel!” “He’s not listening to team orders!”

      It would be hilarious.

      1. Considering Lewis has dealt with every challenge that’s been thrown his way since being in F1* and still remains at the top of the sport! Disappointed to see rosberg go, wanted to see how he would respond to the challenge of being world champion. But as we herd from pass drivers who’ve race with Lewis he forces you to dig deep and attain new levels of performance… Which over time just becomes exhausting. Mhh who to merc now… Maybe Perez.

    3. Who would want to be Lewis’s teammate? If Lewis gives the new guy a trouncing then many will “remember when Nico used to take it to Lewis ” ahh the good old days,
      we saw something awesome, very special with the battle between the 2 Mercs and all their fun shananigans, had a lesser driver than Rosberg been in the Merc it could have been year 3 or 4 of the mega merc snooze fest with Lewis doing a Schumi

  6. Wow, big shock. Did not see that coming…..

    Do be honest, i have a lot more respect for the guy now…..to put his family first (I assume) and say no to big future pay deals. I am sure he won’t be wanting but it is a brave decision to turn down and walk away from future multi-million pound contracts.

    1. Let alone the current £34m contract he has to race with Merc till the end of 2018. That’s a lot of money he just walked away from. That takes a lot of conviction.

      1. @charleski It’s worth remembering that he’s been financially made up since birth. The large sum of money was simply a formality as they knew only Red Bull and Ferrari could ever hope to match it.

        He signed that contract for the car and the team running it, pure and simple.

  7. That came out of the blue. Either he wants to go out on a high or doesn’t want to ensure losing the defends, but it’s never nice to see someone just go ‘stuff it, that’ll do’.

    1. I think Hamilaton was not particularly nice to him this year, both on and off the track. I think it couldnot have happened to a nicer guy. Rarely did he play dirty like Hamilton did. Have a great retirement you deserve it.

      1. He rammed into Hamilton in Spain. He rammed into Hamilton again in Austria. Isn’t that dirty enough? Well then, he also rammed into Hamilton in Spa before, to “prove a point”. He also pulled a “Schumacher” in Monaco Q3. The list really does go on and on.

        Hamilton plays mind-games off track maybe, but Rosberg is about as big a cheater on-track as Schumacher was.

  8. Wow. I honetly dont know what to say. Wow….. So that opens up the driver’s market a bit then!!!!!!!

    1. This puts to bed the questions of whether Nico is a deserving or worthy Champion. We all know he isn’t as quick as Lewis but this proves how much effort he has put into winning this title – that he has to retire for the good of his family. If he hadn’t put everything into this, even the luck he had over the season wouldn’t have been enough.

      As it is, he is the F1 World Champion and will always have that to his name. He’s achieved his goals through sheer determination.

      1. If anything, this shows Nico is a worthy champion: he knows his limitations, learned how to overcome it, and what it takes to do it, knows there’s life beyond the cockpit, and that his not extraordinary as Lewis, who can afford “living la vida loca” and still deliver top results.

        Like some people said here, this elevates him to legendary status. Best wishes for him. Knowing when to stop is a rare virtue…

      2. “Effort” as in more engines blowing up for Hamilton?

        1. Well yes engine did blow but Rosberg seemed very hungry as well, which is not into his character much.
          I feel he knew that after 2016 he wouldn’t have the hunger and passion he had from defeat and desire to get that championship and beat a guy that kicked his ass all his life. He finally got there with luck or not and his hunger was satisfied. Hamilton on the other hand will be full of desire to prove a point.
          2017 would have been a year he would get his ass kicked completely. So if he can’t compete anymore, why race?

  9. This is great in all aspects!

  10. p.s Alonssooooo to Merc?

    The Return of Jenson….lol

    1. That will never happen, so late in season. Firstly, to break Mclaren contract, Mercedes will; have to pay big money which they will not want to do. Unless Alonso does it himself or one of his sponsorers. Looks like its Wehrlein’s time to get promoted, or someone else from smaller team like Perez, Sainz, Ocon.

          1. So did half the population of Europe with Sauber the other year! :D

          2. My point was more that having a shorter contract makes him cheaper to sign. If Vettel wants to go to Mercedes and Ferrari say no, he can agree to join Mercedes in 2018 and Ferrari are stuck having to hide information from their driver during a season with big rule changes.

          3. @petebaldwin
            If you’re saying that the 2017 and the 2018 driver line-up at Mercedes might be two entirely different questions, then I’m inclined to agree with you.

          4. @nase

            — If you’re saying that the 2017 and the 2018 driver line-up at Mercedes might be two entirely different questions, then I’m inclined to agree with you. —

            That is exercising my mind too. Probably my febrile mind, but given the issues such as Hamilton’s refusal to obey pit wall instructions (not saying it was right or wrong) the fallout therefrom, and the possibility that Hamilton might not be happy at Rosberg’s replacement, I’m wondering.

            I suppose it’s unlikely that Hamilton will leave Mercedes before 2017. However, anyone who suggested Rosberg would retire would have been derided as a complete kook.

            I wonder if there is more to this than just Rosberg’s stunning decision. F1 is a multi-billion dollar industry where linear thinking doesn’t always apply.

      1. Well, Alonso has always been smart enough to have a clausule in his contracts, as he had with McLaren before. The other big name would be Vettel, who doesn’t look happy at all at Ferrari. No victory this year, again a possibility for a clausule. I would also not be surprised if Perez grabs the ticket and Wehrlein gets the Force India seat.

        But I really wonder if this was planned, as it would make sense looking at Force India picking Ocon instead of Wehrlein. However I doubt Mercedes would want to place either Wehrlein (or Ocon) next to Hamilton, as it could probably damage their career more than it will help them at this point.

        I think Hulkenberg is the most frustrated driver of the pack. He would have been the ideal replacement for Rosberg; German, experienced, quick and a teamplayer. My bets are on Alonso, Vettel or Perez.

    2. Alonso and Hamilton together again. Wow, the fireworks of 2007 all over again! Of course they’re 10 years older, but it would be interesting to see what happens.

      1. I mean what would happen. As in it ain’t going to happen. (Then again, I would’ve said the same thing about Rosberg if someone suggested he would even consider retiring.)

  11. So, Wehrlein to Mercedes? That’s a nice promotion.

    1. Dayum, Ocon must be so annoyed right now… lol

    2. I’d say more likely is Ocon to Mercedes and Wehrlein to fill the Force India seat

  12. Hubert Reinartz
    2nd December 2016, 13:30

    A true champion. On and off the race track. A rare find these days.

  13. Who is calling Niki Lauda right now?

    1. I know he already pulled the Comeback off once but i think Niki is fairly old for another go.

      1. I think the Jaguar test of 2002 put the kibosh on Niki Lauda making a F1 racing comeback for anybody… (He decided to show the then-race drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa how it was done. He returned the car at the end of a towrope, having never been on speaking terms with the tyre temperature operating window and spun twice in the space of three laps).

  14. No wonder! Now it all makes sense. Merc obviously knew this i wonder if HAM did? I’m guessing not but who knows…

    Who is going to partner HAM….

    1. Yeah, Mercedes told him he was getting his old mechanics back so he left…

    2. Yes, i agree. It must have been a deal between Toto and Rosberg. Now all that problems with Lewis’s car makes sense, Toto had to do something to stop Hamilton get more points, and it started at the begining of 2016, probably the deal was agreed even before that in 2015?. The deal was a secret. I think no one knew about it except Toto and Nico, not even his wife. I think Toto told Lauda later, that’s why before the last race when Lauda was asked about who should win , he said Nico should win it.

      1. Wow! Stage 100 tinfoil!

        1. @trublu

          Wow, Just wow, on the Crazy conspiracy nutcases visitting this forum.

  15. Hello Toto? This is Fernando…

  16. I love how this puts the cat amongst the pigeons. What do Mercedes do? Ocon? Wehrlein? Take a better driver from Red Bull? Oh the intrigue.

  17. Damn! Haven’t been this shocked since ever. Rosberg was a true asset to the sport, but I guess he feel he’s got nothing left to gain by continuing on.

    Please buy out Alonso’s McLaren contract Mercedes! Give him one more chance at a championship!

    1. No doubt just in time for Merc to decline and mclaren to produce a winning car !

  18. Good on him, must be hard to walk away from F1 now, but better to go out on a high I guess.

  19. What? Why? I’m stunned

    1. When was the last time Rosberg actually enjoyed driving a F1 car? 2013?

      He achieved his objective and doesn’t want to give everything up for another few years (especially with his kid now) to spend the whole time with an annoying brat as a team-mate to reply to obviously pro-Lewis biased F1 journalists.

      1. Apparently everything is Hamilton’s fault. Pathetic.

      2. Yep, when in doubt, just blame Hamilton. Smh…

      3. Yes the press has been really biased that’s why i wanted Rosberg to win.
        Oh no team orders are bad because they stop real racing in Abu Dhabi(Dudes all the pasing on that race track is done of the straight ,the place where Hamilton actually pushed to go fast so Rosberg wouldn’t pass him, how the hell did he believe that Rosberg will get passed by 2 cars but not on the streight section,on the impossible to pass section ,in slower cars).But when Rosberg listened to team orders in and let Lewis pass in Monaco.Oh a normal decision.
        In Mexico when Hamilton cuts the first corner by a mile.Oh it’s nothing because He didn’t gain any time.But if he didn’t gain any time why did he cut the corner other than to gain time after making a mistake.So as to erase he’s mistake.

        Oh it’s reliability that’s why Hamilton lost.Not because he made some really poor starts .And also forget to mention that Massa lost to Hamilton in 2008 because of the same reason.

  20. I like this kind of decisions. Now the next question is who gets the seat. I think all drivers want it :D

  21. WOOOOOOOW! I NEVER SAW THAT COMING!

    I remember reading Mark Webber’s book that he too intended to retire if he became world champion back in 2010 and I wondered what would have happened to the 2011 season without a champion in the field.

    I guess I’ll find out next year.

    1. @fer-no65 Wha? 2011 would have had Alonso, Hamilton, Button & Schumacher driving.

      1. @optimaximal had Mark Webber won the 2010, he’d have retired, thus the 2011 season would see no one defending his championship.

    1. He’ll just turn up at Melbourne as if nothing happened.

  22. Quite surprised too that Mercedes (who seemingly knew this was coming) just let this happen. He had a two year deal.

    1. A driver without the motivation to drive is not a fast driver. No point in forcing him to drive if he doesn’t want to.

    2. Is that being reported? I’d guess that Toto Wolff etc. had some idea, might explain some of the weirdness about this season at Mercedes, including the finale.

      Interesting combined with the rumours of Hamilton threatening to walk away after Spain. Sometimes these ideas feed on each other, may have found its way into Rosberg’s mind around then.

      Anyhow, I brave decision from Nico Rosberg and one worthy of respect. Good luck to him.

      1. David BR, it’s only being reported by hahostolze. According to ROS himself Merc and anyone in it, didn’t know about it at least before tuesday evening.

      2. David BR, it seems that Rosberg surprised Wolff just as much as he has done everybody else – Wolff has said that the team had the feeling that Rosberg was hiding something from them in that race, which might explain the way they were behaving, but Rosberg has said that he only told Wolff – via a phone call, feeling unable to do so in person – he was leaving on Monday evening.

    3. I think an unmotivated Rosberg would not be of much value in a tight fight to develop the car and fight for the championship @hahostolze. Now they will get all drivers on the grid and in the realm around it to pick from (off course some come with incredibly high price tags, i.e. unavailable) and will get a fresh line up with someone hungry to show themselves.

  23. Surely Pascal Wehrlein has just pulled out the F1 equivalent of a get out of jail free card, he must be hitting the roof right now

    1. That would be crazy after missing out on the FI seat @naz3012

  24. I would hire Jenson Button if I was Mercedes

    1. Nah man, hire Alonso! Why settle for anything less if you are Merc?! Button can get back in the McHonda since he still has reserve driver deal till 2018.

    2. Please no.

      Vettel? That would be good.

      1. Vettel? For Ferrari, that would be a PR-disaster of such magnitude they might even quit F1 on the back of it. Just think about it! First Alonso, the most highly rated driver, then the four-time WC leave Ferrari both firmly convinced that Ferrari are unable to deliver a championship-winning car in the foreseeable future. It does not bear thinking!

  25. Button or Massa to unretire and go to Mercedes now? :)

    1. Prefer Maldonado Then.

      1. rafael martins
        2nd December 2016, 19:03

        R U Crazy…Massa better option. Developed a poor Willians Car with Mercedes power to take some podiums.

  26. Legend. Is it a German thing to go out on top? I know a few of the German national football team retired after winning the World Cup.

    Wehrlein to step in smoothly then and be groomed as the next big thing, Hamilton never had it so easy

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      2nd December 2016, 13:43

      Alonso to Merc…? Another shock move maybe?

    2. Imagine if Wehrlein ends up being a tougher competitor than Rosberg.

    3. Erm, both Schumacher and Vettel have taken particularly big ‘falls from grace’ in F1.

    1. Several more words: I actually have a huge amount of admiration and respect for him with this decision. I’ve admired his approach all through F1 but especially this year, and with him recently starting a family and everything, what better time to go out than when you’re on top?

      Also, this makes his comments of “we shall see” about using number 1 in 2017 very telling indeed.

      1. It has to be said: nobody could possibly complain about Nico using #6, since he now can’t.

        Question is: does Lewis now get to choose between carrying #0 and #44 (as #0 was the number carried by the lead driver of a team whose champion driver had left F1)? I’m sure he won’t carry it either way…

  27. Hello Toto? This is Maldonado…

  28. Plot twist – Alonso joins Mercedes for 2017, just as Ferrari and Red Bull sort their cars out and leave Mercedes in the midfield…

    1. haha that would be Fernando’s luck alright..

    2. I think you mean McLaren Honda sort their car out and leave Mercedes behind!

    3. Hahaha yeah, this would be just Alonso’s luck.

      If you’re a betting man, look at which team Alonso is in and bet on their car sucking!

  29. Nico is scared of upcoming Max
    And maybe he knows the Mercs have some illegal parts they can not use next year.
    1 seat available for Max

  30. Now he can brag forever that he beat Lewis Hamilton to the title on the top of their careers. There’s your mind games…

    1. If true, a mind game costing him tens of millions of $ I recon. I mean, he leaves two more years at Merc at roughly $15m per year on the table, let alone a new future deal as DWC….

      1. @jeffreyj His wife has an ice cream shop so I don’t think he’ll have any trouble with money.

        1. How much do ice cream shops make these days

          1. I’m sure it’s enough to cover the rent and gas bill.

          2. Over €15 million. Obviously

          3. Depends how close the shop is to Kimi’s

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            2nd December 2016, 15:49

            @blazz ha-ha Is Nico planning to work there? He’ll be the quickest ice cream scooper the world has ever seen!

    2. Of course Hamilton can always point to all the years he beat Nico as team mates from Karting up until now. But I agree, maybe he just did it to annoy Lewis

    3. Alternative view, it looks like he has run away so he doesn’t have to try and defend the title.

      1. of course if I were 31 with a new wife and baby and enough money in the bank to live on for the rest of my life, i don’t think the opinions of people on the internet would bother me too much. That’s said as a Hamilton fan. I’d retire tomorrow if I were able to do so.

    4. @hunocsi haha true, forever pwned to your own game!

    5. And got beaten twice by Lewis Hamilton (or three times over four seasons if you included 2013)… but yeah if you like.

    6. @hunocsi On the flip side, he goes down in history as a 1 title driver (much like his father, I might add), who won the title in a season fraught with all kinds of intrigue, and with fans and the media left debating as to whether or not he truly deserved to win the championship.

      In my opinion, he should have come back to defend the championship to prove he was a worthy winner. Or he should have announced his retirement before signing his contract extension with Mercedes.

      1. Yes but think of it this way, Nico gets the last laugh, because Lewis cannot redeem himself by beating Nico in the same car (and I am not taking this is a given). However, I am sure this season did stress Nico out too much, but what might be more scary for Nico is having to face Lewis in a season were reliability is more even. So ultimately a smart move.

        However I reckon had Lewis got his 4th WDC this season, he would have considered moving to another team and allowing Nico a shot at the title, the only problem being if Mercedes could produce a dominant car with the changes to the cars from 2017.

        Anyway best of luck to him & family

        1. Kwaw

          Unless I am missing something, Hamilton HAS been beating Rosberg in the same car up till now. It is Rosberg that has been trying to “redeem” himself all this while.

          However, you are absolutely correct in saying that “what might be more scary for Nico is having to face Lewis in a season were reliability is more even.” I think it is this fear that ultimately forced his decision to quit.

          1. probably not. He’s probably more interested in his family than F1. If you caught ROS’ mother after the race it’s pretty clear what the ‘family’ thinks about F1 and how relevant/important it is.

            ROS was handed this championship, and all the festivities after the race, in hindsight looks alot more like a farewell + Merc thank you.

            At the end of the day, I am pretty sure ROS would rather be an executive/PR man for Mercedes Benz, than traveling around with the flying circus. F1 is a business first, thats why you see the championships going to the last round and rampant statistically-improbable issues which manage to keep the spectacle sputtering on and the sponsors/race organizers happy.

  31. Felipe, come back!

  32. Wow, just wow. Never expect that at all, but he has made the decision, perhaps the best one he could take. The driver market opens up once more and honestly it would’ve been amazing if Fernando got another chance to partner Lewis, with a extraordinary Mercedes car.

    1. HAM probably wouldn’t care, but it would be interesting to see ALO and HAM as team mates again, or…
      HAM goes to MAC and ALO goes to Merc with one other…

  33. I wonder what his farewell gift from Mercedes was ?

      1. The engine from Lewis’ Malaysian GP car??? haha

        1. Engine would have a free mp3 player on the side playing Hamilton’s radio transmission when the engine blew, in a loop.

      2. the missing screw on hamiltons engine.. :)

  34. Big respect to Rosberg.

    I am utterly stunned, but I totally understand where he’s coming from.

    But goodness me… what a genuine bombshell of an announcement!

  35. 3 drivers top flight drivers in one season!!! When last did this happen?

    1. None of them are “top flight”, second tier drivers, at best.

      1. Second tier? Two of them are world champions, one was very close to being a world champion.

        1. @gdewilde
          Yes, second tier, becoming a World Champion doesn’t automatically make you one of the greats, and not one of those three are anywhere near the level of Senna, Prost, Lauda, Schumacher, and the other greats of the sport.

  36. Wow, just wow. Never saw that coming!

    Esteban Ocon must have felt like the cat who got the cream when he signed for Force India…if Mercedes promote Wehrlein he’ll be gutted!

    1. There are worse places he could have ended up though, fortunately

  37. What?

    I’m stunned! I never in a million years would have thought that was going to happen!

    Who on earth are they going to replace him with? You can just imagine every driver on the grid is looking for get out clauses now.

    Mental.

    1. including ALO, VET and RBR duo perhaps?

  38. I guess this shows just how much it took out of Rosberg to finally beat Hamilton….

  39. NO, Nico, don´t! Pleeeeaaase!

    @Toto: if you cannot change that get the other Nico!

  40. I’m not shocked ladies and gentleman. We only see a tip of the iceberg when it comes to effort needed to win F1 championship. You make it happen, and then, the whole world starts to question: are you a worthy champion? Well, this is kind of THERE YOU HAVE IT answer.

  41. I love to be shocked, and what a shock this is.

    I’ve got to give him credit; he’s achieved the dream and is going out on top. What a way to do it. The guy obviously wants to focus on family and nobody could ever begrudge him that.

    I’d love to see Alonso back at Mercedes but the smart money would be on Wehrlein stepping in. Whatever happens, waiting to see how the next few months unfold just got incredibly exciting.

    1. Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing Vettel at Mercedes.

      I’d be surprised if Toto decided to go for a couple of big names anytime soon though.

  42. In my opinion the public deserves no less than this! Way to go Nico!

  43. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    2nd December 2016, 13:41

    I have so much respect for Nico. Classy, great guy. He will be missed next year definitely.

  44. If there is a god of F1 he will be moving the required mountains that get Max Verstappen into this seat!

    1. luckily there’s no god. Not in F1. Not in real life.

    2. You’ve misconstrued the implied trivialisation of faith based constructs. You have made assumptions which themselves imply you to be a proselytiser of the fundamentalist ilk.

    3. Yes
      Exactly that

      Max for the Merc. Maybe that’s what that toto chat was about.

      1. I have a feeling Max has been stitched up proper contract wise by Helmut,

    4. (Merc.) need a racer to
      Balance Ham. Asking you WHO’S THE ONLY ONE TODAY ??

  45. Can’t post – am off to find a car park to polish my skills…

    1. . . . I’m waiting for Toto to call, too!

    2. Why polish up on your skills as so many people have said, anyone can win in the Mercedes.

      Sorry guys I have already sent Toto a message on Mercedes AMG twitter account that I am free the whole of next season. Now let’s see how good Lewis is.

      1. Too late

        I’ve got the drive, I can’t tell anyone just yet so keep it mum.

        1. I believe that would be a self-contradiction ;)

  46. He knows that it would be difficult to beat Lewis again, in a “normal” machinery. And, in a “normal” machinery, it’d be difficult to Merc to favour him. So, wise decision.
    If I’m Lewis, I’d change team.

    1. Seriously

      Who other than redbull has better machinery and would you rather be in a Merc or redbull next season.

      Merc it is then.

  47. This is the craziest F1 news in a long time. The 2017 driver market just got hot.

  48. Stunning news. Sorry but does ANYONE REALLY BELIEVE that Toto, Lauda and Paddy didn’t know? All season I brushed away all the conspiracy theories of Merc sabotaging Lewis. But given the way this has gone I am beginning to question whether Merc wanted Nico to win now.

    As an armchair critic here is my speculative evidence:
    – According to Hamilton Merc changed their clutch systems last year to the previous hardware that Nico was more comfortable with
    – Lauda flew to see Rosberg during his mid season decline according to GP 247 to discuss “his form”.
    – Hamilton bearing the brunt of Merc’s reliability while car 06 ran like clockwork
    – Merc getting involved in Abu Dhabi when they absolutely didn’t need to
    Left anything out?

    Nico has been with Merc since their inception in 2010 (takeover of Brawn) and has been loyal to Merc through the good times and the bad times. Is it really beyond reason that they would want to give a championship as a send off especially given that there are looming rule changes? Mind you I can understand why Nico would want to retire.
    – He’s just started a young family
    – Pressures of F1
    – Having Hamilton as team mate again next year and the prospect of potentially losing his championship to him
    Just to annoy Hamilton cause now he can’t get him back.

    Anyway it has been a pleasure watching Mr Rosberg compete and I certainly respect him as a driver. He wasn’t
    the best out there neither was he an Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton but he certainly held his own against one of the very best. Looking at his statistics as well I think one championship for him is a good reflection- there are drivers who have won the championship with a sparser skill set than Nico. Wish him and his family all the best in the future.

    1. I forgot swapping the mechanics as well!!

    2. Mercedes didn’t know until the Tuesday after the finale, so presumably the retirement had nothing to do with anything that Mercedes may or may not have happened to arrive at the championship.

      1. As I said I don’t buy that argument.

  49. wow! Toto’s phone call to Max’s father just took on a bigger significance! Did Toto know it was coming perhaps?

    1. +1

      If you want your boy in a Merc next year tell him not to interfere in Nico’s wining.

      Lewis had little chance other than Seb helping out in that race and he just didn’t have a quick enough car.

      1. +1

        It will be even more probably if Merc announce Max as the 2nd driver… Oh this is going to be an interesting break between seasons…

  50. MOST SHOCKING NEWS EVER!

  51. Wow! Totally unexpected but in a way also understandable.
    Now that he’s achieved everything he aimed for in his career, it would’ve been very hard for him to find new motivation. Plus he’s got a family he has to take care of. No better way to say goodbye than finishing on a high.

  52. Wow.. :(
    I guess the Hamilton fans booing and British press constantly picking on him on top of the championship battle was just too much, but classy to think of his wife and kids too.

    Shame as I think after a good rest he could really be back for another good try with a nothing-to-lose attitude.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 13:54

      @balue I seriously doubt he’s retiring because of the reasons he gave there – he was probably given the opportunity to retire by Mercedes for his contribution to the team over the years. The question is what forced him in the retirement – Federer hasn’t retired and he has 4 kids and less of a break in the season and it’s much more physical.

      There’s only 1 thing that explains this – Nico is not a fighter and he might not want to fight for his championship again especially against Lewis. His dad even said he’ll be stronger next year…

      1. “Nico is not a fighter”

        I think this season proves that he is, and now he wants to fight for something else probably more important to him.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd December 2016, 14:20

          @john-h well, that’s the only logical explanation. He can spend time with his family for the rest of his life and half the championship takes place in Europe.

          But he can never race again and he will never get a car like that one…

          If he were truly retiring, Nico’s dad and wife would have told him to take a week or a month to decide. Even Toto and Nikki would have tried to dissuade him.

          If he’s being fired for cause, then the sudden retirement is a cover-up for what would be probably a huge blow to Mercedes and to Nico (and his dad). It could possibly strip the WCC and WDC from Mercedes and undo the entire team’s hard work.

          This move is very different from the way Nico drives… This is not the Nico we know over 10 years.

          1. My thoughts echo yours on this.

      2. Well, perhaps he could do a job-share with his dad, then. Alternate driving and childcare duties with Keke.

      3. @freelittlebirds Um, when was the last time someone was killed playing tennis? I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s been said fairly frequently that having kids slows down F1 drivers because they start to think of their own mortality.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd December 2016, 15:07

          @jimg valid point about the mortality but this is not Nico – if he was thinking about his mortality he wouldn’t be crashing into everyone. It just doesn’t add up. Gee, let me smash into Lewis in Spain and see who survives this… Bye Honey, I love you!!! He hit 2 more cars on purpose – that’s not a driver contemplating his mortality…

          1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
            2nd December 2016, 21:22

            Hammy hit Nico in Spain

    2. Yep, all those Hamilton fans in Ferrari shirts at monza…

      People were not booing him due to some misplaced loyalty to Lewis Hamilton, they were booing him for his conduct. (Not that I agree with booing anyone)

  53. Thanks Nico for the great year you gave us! Happy to finally see you up your game and win, against Lewis the great!
    Hope you’ll enjoy whatever you’ll do next, Champion!

  54. Take Max to Mercedes. Unless Red Bull becomes the real deal… No. In my opinion, Mercedes will keep being the best team. Hamilton will have his fourth title easy if actually Mercedes keeps being the best.

  55. Stunned.
    So who gets the seat?

  56. After a minute or two to reflect on this things start to make sense. He became a dad last year and in the wet races this year it was like he’d forgotten how to drive. Especially Monaco a track he is historically strong at. It might be nice to think Hamilton is a wet weather virtuoso but Rosberg has never been that shabby in the wet.

    Conspiracy theorists are going to go nuts over this whole season though with things like the mechanic swaps, things Hamilton has alluded to, the unnecessary instructions in Abu Dhabi. I’m going to fetch me some popcorn!

  57. Rio Haryanto mentioned he wanted to be back in F1….

    1. Hahaha best comment!!!

    2. he has Merc experience :)

  58. Let us just pause for a moment…. F1 championship is a grueling work. And next year odds are will be just as hard and less likeley to end in another star.

    He has achieved his racing peak, he gave it everything and won. What more could he do and at what price for the family?

    Real question is now, who do Mercedes promote?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 15:13

      @jureo he has 23 wins and 30 poles and at the current rate the team is amassing them he can have 40 wins and 50 poles in 2 years, not to mention he’s fighting for the championship.

      Even if Lewis dominated him 3-1 and (really 4-0), he still has a mathematical chance of winning the championship. All he needs is sufficient misfortune for his teammate and he could get another one.

      Winning makes folks greedy and this goes triple for competitors – these drivers are not normal people. This is an addiction for them – they all know they are extremely addicted to F1.

      Hell, every fan on this forum is addicted to F1 and can’t quit following it… I quit guys – it means I’ll see you in an hour!:-)

  59. To all those that say they have even more respect for him now, sorry, but I don’t understand.

    A true champion comes back to defend his championship; if not, it can forever be looked at as a fluke. Especially after such a season as we just had, with all the arguments as to whether or not he was a deserving winner.

    If this was done because of family, like some comments have suggested, then he should have retired when his daughter was born.

    All in all it is a very strange and unheard of decision. But like I said in a post in another thread in these forums, down the line all will be exposed as to what really happened in the Mercedes team this 2016 season.

    As an aside, having recently signed a 2 year contract extension with Mercedes, it will be interesting to see how that is resolved.

    1. I have more respect knowing he was struggling with family life at the same time as dealing with a season that sees many crack under the regular pressure of F1. Remember Häkkinen and Alonso in tears after a gruelling season.
      Lewis has not been 100% dealing with pressure this year and has also known to crack at the end like 2007/2008.
      Nico did a great job for Mercedes.

      1. What are you on about Lewis was a rookie in 07 and in Bra his car stopped how does he choke? Did you miss the 14 and 16 run in?

    2. I agree, this decision of Rosberg’s hasn’t made me respect him any more (or less) and can arguably be considered cowardly. Damon Hill could have retired after being sacked by Williams the year he won the title but went to race for Arrows and then Jordan instead.

      I am wondering how many one time champions retired at the end of their championship winning year.

      1. One. Mike Hawthorn after the 1958 season. Sadly, he was killed in a road accident two months later.

        1. Rindt was also a 1 time WDC, but he never knew he was one

    3. I’ve respected him all year, he’s beaten a driver that most would say is a quicker and more naturally talented in a straight fight. But he’s not done that through luck – as much as it may have played a part – he’s done it through hard work and determination, bringing himself up to a level that’d be very difficult for him to repeat. I think he knows this, to have a season like 2016 all over again would be nigh on impossible, so what better time to retire than when you’re at the top? It takes guts to make a decision like this, and I respect him for putting his family first. I’m sure if you asked him what he’d prefer, another title or being able to watch his child grow up, he’d pick the latter every time. Nothing wrong with that.

    4. @stubbornswiss
      I’d have to agree, walking away from the sport and leaving it without a defending champion isn’t classy or grounds for respect. I could understand if he’d won several championships and was getting to the end of his potential career, but he hasn’t and isn’t.

    5. Stubborn Swiss.

      I agree with you on many things, but this time I think you are being unfair to Nico. Maybe him retiring is a mistake, but it’s his choice and he has given good reason for it.

      No one can take away his world championship from him (unless they decided to look at the Parc Ferme incident). But for most sane and rational people, family is more important than racing.
      May I remind you that in every race there is great risk and as Nico has pointed out, this season was very stressful for him. Nico has also rationalised and accepts that he might not beat Lewis again or any other driver. So what best way for him to go out is on a high and so he is.

      Also in a way he is returning the favour Lewis presented him at Abu Dhabi – Lewis backed him up, so Nico is not giving Lewis the chance to beat him again.

      Annoying but I totally respect his decision too.

    6. I respect him for it. Not as a racer because on the surface it’s easy to judge him as quitting while ahead and running scared which isn’t what I believe he’s doing. But I respect him as a family man that gave it this last final push for glory, and is now no longer willing to sacrifice other parts of his life for it with that dream fulfilled.

      His father won a championship before Nico was born, but like Nico only raced one more season after the birth. He knows the commitment needed to stand a chance next year means another year of not being there for his family, and as a driver only ever wants to race to win the championship there’s no point in him carrying on.

      1. Now we know more about his decision, it appears that it is because he is running scared. Niki Lauda apparently is furious and claims that Nico said he would have continued if he hadn’t won the WDC so it could be considered a contradiction to say he was thinking about family, as he wasn’t prepared to give it up until he had attained some kind of glory.
        I am also wondering what clauses were in his contract in the event Mercedes resort to litigation, could it result in Nico’s wealth being depleted if he sued for breach of contract, after all it was only mid season that they renewed his contract. Isn’t it ironic after all the criticism of Hamilton about him not being a team player that it appears he has been more loyal than Rosberg who put self interest (however good his intentions) first.

  60. Jonathan O'Brien
    2nd December 2016, 13:49

    When was the last time there was an f1 season without the reigning world champion taking part?

  61. Well, did not see that coming.

    Cannot really blame him. Taking some time now with family will probably feel good for him. Looked like he gave it all during the season and especially in Abu Dhabi.

    Who will replace him?
    – Alonso? Why would McLaren let him go. He’s the only one they have
    – Button for one year? Surpise comeback?
    – Wehrlein? Too early for him?
    – Bottas? Toto knows him well as he used to be Bottas’ manager. Williams can use some cash.
    – Ocon, Sainz, Perez, who?

    1. If Wehrlein goes to Mercedes, that would be two open seats at Manor, wouldn’t it? Or have I missed someone?

      1. Guess you’re right. Nothing confirmed there, just a rumour that Guttierez might be a Manor driver next year.

    2. @blackbox
      I guess Red Bull might be persuaded to break with Sainz, that would allow them to bring Gasly in, although it would leave Toro Rosso very weak. From his point of view there’s not much reason to stick around as there’s unlikely to be a seat at the main team in the foreseeable future.

      Wehrlein and Bottas are possible, out of the two I’d say Wehrlein is more likely. Unless he has a get-out clause I don’t expect Williams would part with Bottas.

  62. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd December 2016, 13:50

    I told you it’s coming – tin foil hats out… I didn’t see Nico leaving though, god only knows what’s going on inside Mercedes. Sad to see him leave – I hope he didn’t do anything bad this year that warranted his immediate departure even as champion.

  63. As an Alonso fan, NOOOOOOOOOOOO

  64. 2017 will be 3rd consecutive season with no number 1 on the grid. Has this happened before?

    1. No, it hasn’t.

  65. Still a «Gentleman Driver»…

  66. FlyingLobster27
    2nd December 2016, 13:54

    In a field where different drivers are miffed at being stuck on 2, 3 or 4 titles, Rosberg’s decision to retire after just one is, I think, very appreciative of the value of a “mere” single World Championship. Good job, Nico, that was a nice career you’ve had!

  67. Admirable decision putting his family first. Seems like this season was tougher for him than anyone thought. His last two races were even more impressive with the additional pressure.

    1. I’m wondering about how tough the season was on him . . . Supposing he hadn’t won on Sunday; crashed out or mechanical problem or puncture. Do you think he would still have announced his retirement, or would he have tried for WDC again next year?
      I think I’m already looking forward to his autobiography for his thoughts behind the decision.

  68. I’m stunned. I don’t even know what to think…

  69. Well, that’s how you blow everyone’s mind. Really disappointing to read but it was indeed a brave call.
    Congratulations to Nico and all the best in his new life.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 14:06

      @guilleps Can you imagine the last few days at Mercedes? There’s no way Nico is retiring with a car that can give 40 wins, 50 poles and possibly another championship… Any racer would kill for that seat… They waited almost a week to announce it. If he was truly retiring, they’d tell him to wait a week or two or a month and then decide.

  70. Unless Mercedes brings Button or Alonso back in then it is a rather sad day for F1.

  71. Haryanto has been hinting all weak that he would have a seat next season. I never suspected this though

  72. *Tin foil hat carefully placed*
    Did Merc deliberately shackle HAM to give ROS his dream????

    1. no it obviously was George Bush who did it

    2. Can’t wait for the Lewis Book in 10years.

    3. Did Charlie Whiting let Hamilton totally overshoot the first two turns of a race and continue on like nothing had happened? If that insanity happened, then everything else is totally plausible.

    4. Because you have conclusive evidence to prove otherwise? Especially with the way this season has gone, and now this news? I was one of the people who dismissed the conspiracy theorists but this news has given me some doubts.

  73. Wow, I have quite bittersweet emotions over this. On the one hand I admire his resolve, not many people have the balls to quit at the top of their game. On the other hand, we’ve lost a driver who was able to go toe-to-toe with Hamilton.

  74. Well done, Nico!!! You are a MASTER!!! And a great champion!

  75. Even though I’m shocked I get part of it. He has a young family, all the money in the world and he achieved his lifelong dream. 21 races plus testing and PR and the pressure and emotional toll, he looked drained after the race I can understand it. Enjoy the the rest of your life champ!

  76. February 2016

    Rosberg: I’m retiring at the end of the season
    Wolff: Ok … we’ll make sure you win the WDC this year then
    Hamilton: Huh?
    Wolff: Don’t worry Lewis we’ll give you a crap team mate next year
    Hamilton: Fine! But you both can bet I’m gonna write a book about all this in 10 years!

  77. When I first got to know about this, I didn’t buy it. I just thought it was an early April fools joke or something, but yeah, I didn’t see a news like this coming at all.

    1. Jerejj – I opened up Formula1.com and their Twitter just to check that this site hadn’t been hacked or something! :-)

  78. Utterly stunned by this. And bags of respect for Nico for keeping so quiet. His seat has to go to Pascal, right?

  79. this is a shame. I never really rated him as a driver, but i was interested to see how he would perform next year as a world champion. Having won the title, i think the pressure would have been off to an extent, and he could just ‘drive’…

  80. Is he just retiring from F1 or from motorsport as a whole ?
    Mark Webber’s seat is vacant at Porsche…

  81. “A driver may win the championship, but that doesn’t mean he is a champion” – Aytron Senna

    While I hate criticizing a driver for taking such a personal decision, I can’t help but remember Senna’s words and conclude that Rosberg isn’t a real champion. Real champions always want more wins and more glory. Look at Hamilton, he has already won everything he needs, why does he go on? What made Senna, Prost, Schumacher tick? Rosberg is a good driver who, in a good car, won a championship and that’s it.

    1. So hes wrong to spend time with his family

    2. “A driver may win the championship, but that doesn’t mean he is a champion” – Aytron Senna

      Most appropriate for the moment!

    3. I disagree completely. He is a real Champion. He DID want more wins and more glory which is why he persisted until he achieved his dream. Btw, virtually all WDCs had the WCC car in order to win it, so if you are going to fault Nico for that, then fault all winners for ‘just having a good car.’ Otherwise, nobody has ever touted Nico as one of the Greats, but he was good enough to win a Championship and he’ll have that the rest of his life. At home he will be truly the Greatest for putting family first after they put him and his dreams first.

    4. Oh come off it. No he isn’t a Hamilton, Schumacher or Senna. That doesn’t make him less of a champion. He beat one of the best drivers of the last 10 years over the course of an entire season. He may not be quite as “naturally talented” as Hamilton, but in that case surely beating Lewis is even more of an achievement? What I’m trying to say is, if you have won a world championship, you are a “real champion”. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you win 3 titles, 7 titles or if you even just win 1. If you can string together a season good enough to win the title, you’re a worthy champion.

      1. We can’t argue about him being champion, that’s kinda confirmed at this point, but I doubt he’ll be much more then just a name on the list.

    5. @BT52B

      Couldn’t agree more. I know he has his personal reasons, his family and stuff, and I respect him for taking such a decision, but on the competitive side, I find him a bit conformist, and indeed, just a champion by circumstance. Obviously, it’s just for me, who, having followed F1 for the same last 25 years, always wanting more, that to no defend a hard-earned championship is beyond me.

    6. And look where’s Senna now. Come on, guy just wants to be a father and see his daughter growing up.

      1. I may have been a bit too harsh with my initial reaction. Of course I respect Rosberg as a driver and I respect his decision as well, and I think it was Schumacher who said that the moment you get into the cockpit thinking more about your family than anything else is the moment you retire, so kudos to him for taking this brave choice to walk away. I just enjoy seeing drivers who go for the limit always and don’t stop.

        1. I don’t think his decision to be with family is better than any other decision to retire. I respect his decision as much as when Barry Foster gave back his check, to quit the NFL and to concentrate on fly fishing. Both decisions are the right ones for each individual and their inner circle. It has nothing to do with us as fans. It’s a bummer we’re losing Massa/Rosberg/Webber, that’s how it goes, unfortunately for us.

  82. We need a Bernie intervention here to fill the MB seat. The worst thing for F1 would be Wehrlein taking ROS’ seat. The kid hasn’t demonstrated much, other than that he can ignore direct orders from team bosses. And in any case Wehrlein is NOT going to give Hamilton a run for his money, unlike ROS. It is possible that RBR will advance next season versus MB, given the new regs, but it’s not a certainty. If MB is as dominant in 2017 as it was this year, and if Hamilton is up against Wehrlein, then we are in for an incredibly useless and boring season, at least at the front.
    The sport needs one of ALO, VET or VES in that MB seat. Bernie, please make it happen! I live a five minute walk from 6 Prince’s Gate (seriously); I think I’m going to walk up there now.

  83. Too much commitment into this years championship and too much pressure… Now someone tell me Lewis’ lifestyle with that parties going on around is wrong to keep the balance between the pressure and chill!

    1. Great comment (observation)

  84. Good for him, I think it’s a brave and pretty cool move. He must have known what the reaction would be (undeserving champion, afraid of LH next year etc) and he is nevertheless saying he doesn’t give a fig for what anyone thinks of him. The pressure to “prove himself” again (as if he needs to) but risk not enjoying it was immense.

  85. Jeez this absolutely stinks. I gained so much respect for him this year, he really grew on me. Hope he enjoys his time with the family.

  86. I understand and respect Nico’s reasoning but what a shock! Just saw this and I am very, very surprised.

    Right then. Alonso to Mercedes and Jenson back to McLaren? Would love to see that….in my dreams.

    Or how about Vandoorne to Mercedes and McLaren asking Jenson back? He’s still under contract. Or Bottas to Mercedes and Williams getting their way in having Jenson for a year?

    Sanity tells me it will probably be Wehrlein though.

  87. My question is, is he retiring only from F1? Or from morotsports altogether?

  88. So hes wrong to want to spend time with his family?

  89. I honestly think this is more about preserving his career, he has all the money he could ever need so why not? A lot of drivers win a championship and then never come near to winning one again.
    The more time a driver spends in the sport after winning a championship always tends to lessen how people view their career in F1, even Alonso has a lot of doubters these days and he was a back to back champion.

  90. To put family ahead of having one of the two most coveted seats in all of motorsport right now? That takes a lot of guts.

    Nico should be hugely congratulated, for doing his very best against not one, but two of F1’s all-time greatest over the past seven seasons. Hopefully he returns to motor racing again one day.

  91. What on earth. Seriously, what on earth. He just produces the best campaign of his career, proves that he deserves to ranked among the top echelon of drivers, and he quits. I tell you one thing: Mercedes didn’t know he was going to do this because now they are going to have to put Pascal Wehrlein in the car when they could have made a pitch for Ricciardo or Alonso to be released from their contracts.

    I think it speaks of a lack of passion, which makes no sense when he’s worked so hard to become the great racing driver he is. This is the biggest shock the sport has had in twenty years and I simply don’t understand it. Rosberg has seriously gone down my estimations. As the victor, he ought to be a competitive sportsman and he should be relishing next year’s rematch with Lewis. Was he going to stay if he lost?

    1. I would suggest you would have to ask him and his family, and would have to have lived inside their heads for your answers. It might be the opposite to what you suggest and that his passion to win meant too much sacrifice by him and his family on the other side of the coin, so he has made a bold decision that sounds like was a no-brainer for him now. He obviously didn’t relish putting his young family through even another season of living out of a suitcase.

      1. @robbie – But Vettel has never had the same problem in keeping his personal and private lives separate. Nor has Massa, nor has Raikkonen, nor has Grosjean. Rumours are that Button split with his wife because he was always adamant that he wouldn’t have children whilst he was still racing but then didn’t retire, as was widely speculated, at the end of last year. The moral being, unless you are confident of keeping family and racing separate, don’t start a family. It sounds like an awful thing to say, but the family idyll will keep, the opportunity to drive one of the finest racing cars ever won’t.

        I think it just goes to show Nico was running on the redline this year, right on the edge of what he was physically and, especially, mentally capable of. But that is the kind of commitment you need if you want to beat one of the finest sporting competitors on the planet. Either aspire to that level, or come to terms with your opponent’s superiority. To quit after this year says that the victory and catharsis of competition isn’t worth the personal sacrifices. A fine inspirational tale from our world champion there.

        I am a big fan of his, and I have always been first to defend him against the Hamiltonian-hoards, but this is the decision of a sporting lightweight, and I am sure much of him will ultimately come to regret it. It puts me in mind of Mel Gibson’s speech from Braveheart:

        And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for one chance to come back here as young men, and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom?

        …I am sure, as a grandfather telling his grandchildren of the way he gave up the finest seat in motor-racing, I am sure Nico would wish he could go back and have one last charge at his enemy…

        1. This so badly misrecognises the various personality types and psyches of people. Who knows what sort of person Rosberg is. Maybe he is not cut out to be in this cutthroat world but he hung tight until he finally got what he had his heart set on all these years. That makes him a hero, not a loser. You can’t fight your nature, nor should you judge someone on that.

          1. @hahostolze – But it is just an unusual mentality for a racing driver, especially one that is clearly, by nature, highly competitive, otherwise he would never have spent eleven seasons as an immensely commendable F1 driver. To achieve what Nico has achieved you have to be cutthroat, you have to be a fighter. You also have to be motivated by competition and the taste of victory, and I don’t see why that isn’t the case any longer now he is world champion. Why does the passion no longer apply? Was the fight not worth the reward?

            Of course the crux here is his baby daughter. Nobody can anticipate how becoming a parent changes your psyche, so whilst it actually elevated Grosjean’s on-track form, it has obviously been quite profound for Nico in that he is pining for his home-life when he is away racing. I don’t, and could not, blame him for that. I just hope he does not regret his decision because I have been so impressed by the way he managed to find an extra gear of performance in himself this year. It was the feat of a great sportsman. I hope, in spite of this, he is remembered as such.

        2. What a load. I think you’re missing the point. Especially with the Braveheart quote! The point here is that he already has had the ‘one chance’ and he has already taken it and succeeded. What more is there? Sure he could stay in F1, take the £££s and have fun driving the cars, but without the passion to do what he did this year once more, he clearly doesn’t see the point. That surely is the mark of a true competitor and sportsman.

          1. Yes, disregard the Braveheart comment! The fact that Rosberg was victorious at his personal Stirling Bridge was staring me in the face. However the point of carrying on is that as a champion, as someone who has sacrificed much to be an F1 driver driving a great F1 car, he should want to. Yes, he’s had three years turning up to racetracks knowing that he has a shot at victory every time, but those will be the defining years of his life, and he has the opportunity for several more.

            Now of course there’s some cost-benefit analysis to be done, and that is a deeply personal equation for Nico, so this is obviously what he feels is the right decision. I know of no other driver, possibly in F1 history, who would have given up that car, that team and that opportunity to sit alongside a true great, but frankly, as you say, that isn’t relevant.

            My feeling is there is more to learn. Rosberg’s daughter, Alaia, is more than a year old now, so if he has been struggling with the work-family balance then he’s been managing it for a while now. I think there is more to learn about how his battle with Lewis continued behind the scenes and how that came to bitter his love of racing versus greater affections for his familial life. No one hates conspiracy theories more than me, but it is just my gut feeling and would just sit better with the Rosberg I have known over the years. @robbie

        3. @william-brierty I respect your opinion always. But the drivers you cite, Vettel, Massa, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Button…are not Nico Rosberg. I will assume that for Nico, ‘the victory and catharsis of competition’ is something he has done. And now for him it isn’t worth the personal sacrifices any longer, but it was, up to and including the 2016 season. I envision him as a grandfather, as Keke is now, full of pride that he had a successful F1 career culminating in a World Championship, and that’s rare in the history of the sport and that only about 3 dozen drivers can claim. He’s been doing this since he could walk and talk, and obviously hasn’t an ego the size that some others have, that would see him need more and more. He has the ability to think of others in his life and set any ego for more aside, to give back to those who have supported him the most closely. Will he regret it as you suggest? Of course that is possible, but somehow this feels like something else. Like it is right for him. At least to me, anyway.

        4. I guess you probably are not a father

    2. “I tell you one thing: Mercedes didn’t know he was going to do this because now they are going to have to put Pascal Wehrlein in the car when they could have made a pitch for Ricciardo or Alonso to be released from their contracts.”

      You cannot say that conclusively unless you are Mercedes. I for one don’t for a second think Merc didn’t know until Monday. When you put this news into context of the way the season has gone all the conspiracies do have some legs to at least consider rather than just dismiss as “nonsense”. As for “why Wehrlein as opposed to RIC or ALO” answer could be simple- the future. ALO in his twilight years, RIC not far off Hamilton’s age so why not lay the foundations for the future? Not so long ago Toto was going on about the need to replace Hamilton or Rosberg for the future given they are virtually the same age.

      1. Alo or Ricciardo to be released Merc.

        RedBull or McLaren to have (last seasons) merc engines… ??

  92. Goodness me. I can just imagine somewhere Murray Walker is watching the news screaming “This could blow the silly season WIDE open!”

    I’m stunned about this. Adds a whole new dimension to the pressures in that championship finale now we know that Rosberg had already decided to call time on his career if he won. But I suppose he’s achieved everything he set out to do and that he knows that opportunity may never present itself again, so why not finish on a high? Reminds me a little of a Fangio quote after he won at the Nurburgring in 1957, shortly before his own retirement. “I have never driven that quickly before in my life and I don’t think I will ever be able to do it again”. Perhaps Nico feels the same.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2016, 2:33

      @jackysteeg Yeah but Fangio was quick. Lewis was faster than Nico and was practically driving like a ‘bus driver’ according to Nico and skating like a ‘ballerina on ice’ according to Jackie Stewart in front of Nico ;-)

      Nico can’t make the same claim as Fangio:-)

  93. Quick get Fernando in. Let the fun commence.

  94. WOW!! Surely it has to be Pascal Wehrlein! He lost out to Ocon at FI but i think he’s at the top of the list.

    But i would love it if Alonso joins Mercedes! Then we will have World War III!

    Final Word to Nico: A strange decision but fully understandable. Like the say it is best to retire when your at the top.

    Wonder what Hamilton is thinking??

  95. My respect for Nico just broke the roof.
    What a move. Total class.
    “I’ve got the trophy and the girl, you can shove your formula 1 up your ….”
    Hats off.

  96. Shellshocked! I feel like crying. Understandable decision though. What a classy fellow!

    Let’s hope the vacant seat is filled by any of the three remaining champions.

    1. Yeah, I too am really saddened by this as it starts to sink in..

        1. There are 4 champs remaining.. Kimi, Lewis, vettel and alonso

          1. Umm… I think the guy who’ll be driving the other Merc is called Lewis Hamilton.

  97. Toto’s phone rings.

    “It’s a Me, Alonso!” 😊

  98. What? Had to do a double take at this news. I thought if anyone was going to shock drop out it would be Hamilton with all his music ambition. Anyway congratulations again to Rosberg!

  99. Saw this new pop on my cell phone , first thing I saw in the morning and I couldn’t believe it. I also thought this was some kind of speculation from a forum, but proved me wrong.

    Shocking though after reading some of his opinions yes he has priorities set for his personal life, good for him.

  100. Wow. That was a surprise. Wehrlein for WDC in 2017? Worth a couple of quid. Who knows which car will be top dog in ’17 though; the Red Bull pair could be in the box seat.

  101. Good reasons to quit to be sure, but I’d rather have seen him declare his retirement intentions prior to the race weekend. This way it just feels like he’s slinking on out because he knows he can’t compete at the leading edge of the sport.

    Either way he seems like a nice guy but just doesn’t have the chops to be considered a leading driver. He won’t be missed come January.

  102. Not a surprise for me, I knew it.

    Just kidding :-)
    OMG !!! During a few seconds, I thought it was a journalist joke. I’m speechless, I could never have imagined that.

  103. Good for him. I wish him the best of luck.
    I’m a Hamilton supporter since he arrived in F1, but Nico deserved the title, for everything he did at Mercedes through the years.
    Now, who will fill the spot? Button? I wish!

  104. Hamilton has lost his chance to beat the reigning world champion for a third time.

    1. 3rd time? He beat Nando as the reigning world champ in ’07 (via countback) and Button in 2010. Which other 3 times are you thinking unless your including drivers from other teams.

      1. Pretty sure you are misreading. As you say he has done it twice, 2017 was his chance to do it for a third time.

        1. thanks for clarifying.

          1. No problem! I did the exact same thing first time I read it.

  105. Nobody but Nico and his family can know the strain this season had on him and them. Look at Hamilton, look what he’s been through, the stresses, the break-ups, the mistakes, the fights, everything, and he has more natural talent to make his racing work. Nico had to put everything he had into achieving that one thing, and he did it. Only he can know how much it took out of him and whether he would be able to do it again. None of us have the right to tell him he’s being weak, a bad champion, an unworthy champion or whatever. He’s doing this for himself and his family. If you can’t respect that, it’s because you have no idea what toll it took. I am so full of admiration for the man to distance himself from more race wins, more poles, perhaps more WDCs, more money, more fame, because it took too much of a toll on him. If you think that is weakness, you have no idea.

  106. My respect for Rosberg has gone up a notch..and here’s the reason:-

    People may say that his decision proves that he doesn’t have it in him to defend the title…

    …I think he knows that. All his life he has been beaten by Hamilton. To win the championship was his lifelong dream… and when he was finally in a championship winning position in Suzuka, he knew that with Lewis as his teammate, that was the best chance he was ever gonna get.

    He capitalized on that once in a lifetime opportunity and he is the world champion now. An opportunity he knows he’ll probably never get again, with the regulation changes and Lewis vowing on revenge.

    I theorize that more than anything else, he wanted to beat Hamilton, just once…maybe something he had dreamed of doing ever since his childhood days with Hamilton as his teammate. In terms of pure pace, everyone including himself knew that he couldn’t beat Lewis, something he might have realized in his karting days…but maybe it was that promise they both made to each other almost two decades ago, maybe just a desire to prove his worth not only to himself but also to Lewis.

    People may call Rosberg a coward for doing this. I won’t. He knows what he’s truly made of. It takes guts to try and defend the championship…but it takes even more guts to recognize your own limitations and quit.

    A wise and brave decision.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 15:33

      @neutronstar

      But losing to Hamilton has never made Nico look bad. It’s made him look better than ever as Lewis has had to fight for the championships he’s won. In fact after winning a WDC, Nico can only look better.

      If Lewis wins 2 more championships, Nico will be revered for winning 1 against a 5 time champion and fighting with him every year in one of the most intense rivalries the sport has known.

      If Nico wins another championship, he’ll be deserving of at least 1 combined over the career with Lewis.

      All scenarios play to Nico’s advantage.

      NOT to mention he has won a GP in 5 consecutive years and is heading for 6th and 7th… Big numbers there to go along his 7 consecutive wins…

      1. You’re missing the point. He knows he probably won’t win another championship.He knows Hamilton is the faster and in many ways, the better driver…he admitted in an interview that Lewis has always edged him out. He doesn’t want to be revered for fighting with Hamilton. I don’t think stats, numbers and fame matter to him as much as you think…

        After Suzuka, he saw the once in a lifetime opportunity presented to him and grabbed it with both hands. I believe that’s when he wanted to defeat Lewis and win the championship once…and be done with it.

        He recognized his own limitations and chose the path he thought was the best, which I believe takes a lot of guts.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          2nd December 2016, 16:38

          @neutronstar I doubt it because that’s not Nico – remember in 2014 at Abu Dhabi when his car had issues and Nico told the team that he wanted to finish the race. He doesn’t give up…

          1. neutronstar has got it right.

            The 2014 Nico did not give up because he was still focussed on beating Hamilton once, just once. Now that its done, its time to move on. He only really wanted to do just one thing, and he has done it.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            2nd December 2016, 19:27

            @sumedh he was deciding what number to drive under yesterday..

    2. +1. Well reasoned logic and I totally agree.

    3. ” It takes guts to try and defend the championship…but it takes even more guts to recognize your own limitations and quit. ”

      How so? It doesn’t take guts to “recognize” your own limitations. It just takes you not lying to yourself. That is not “guts”. It is honesty….unless of course, you are claiming it takes “guts” to be honest. That is another kettle of fish altogether!

      1. Yes, I believe it takes guts to be honest with yourself. If you refuse to accept the truth, you’re running away from reality and hence, being a coward. It would have been so easy for Rosberg to go with the flow and fight for another championship but he knew it would take circumstances such as those this year to win again i.e. he would need luck…and you can’t base your hopes on luck. You never should…

  107. He clearly just needed to open the door for a full time BTCC drive – see you at Oulton Nico! :)

  108. A big shock but his reasonings are understandable, I wish him well for the future.

    1. There’s more to this than meets the eye. I find it curious that the Mercedes F1 leadership have yet to make a supportive official statement in farewell. I’m sorry, but family or not, you don’t snatch the apical title of your profession, then flat out walk away. Something stinks about this bombshell, and time will ultimately tell.

  109. Mercedes, is going to get a clear #2 driver and work towards Hamilton winning the championship in 2017 to make up for this year.

  110. So does this mean that Niki Lauda is going to have to realize that Hamilton is more like him than Nico?

    You could always sense his favoritism for Nico. But in the end, 1 championship should never be enough for a real driver.

  111. Im shell-shocked!

    Its nice that him and Lewis can probably be friends again now :-)

  112. Lewis, this is Paddy! We are sorry

  113. Verstappen to merc and Alonso to bulls. Good for Nico. This is good for F1

  114. Michael Brown (@)
    2nd December 2016, 16:16

    The Vettel fan in me wants him in that Mercedes seat. Realistically it has to be Wehrlein or Ocon, surely?

  115. As someone who’s family has been pushed away due to my own career, I completely understand Nico’s position. The time away and pressures of required family life v career goals…can be devastating for any family. I’ve been geographically separated from my wife for over 6 years because of our careers…a divorce is about to happen because of it despite the fact that we thought we could do it. But in the end it proved to much and we drifted too far a part. Thankfully it will be on good terms. Nico is fortunate enough to be able to get through a tough period in his life, achieve his well deserved ultimate goal and go home to his family permanently. Family is more important and I salute Nico!

  116. Alonso goes to merc, Alonso mops the floor with Hamilton, Hamilton quits F1.

    1. And Hamilton complains about how the season was so unfair.

    2. @illusive

      Now, why would that happen? Sure as hell did not happen last time they were team mates……

    3. I seriously doubt that. In fact, it’d probably be the other way around.

  117. Good for Nico. He certainly doesn’t deserve the abuse of being partnered to that troll Hamilton next season

    1. Not sure Hamilton is the troll around here.

  118. Watching the two instragam videos Rosberg posted from him when younger. I get the impression, he was racing to please his Dad, and by winning the WDC he has equaled his Dad, and fulfilled his Dad’s dream for him. Now he can retire can go on and do what he wants.

    In the videos, he is really happy and having fun when jumping into the pool. He is more subdued around his dad. Also it is his Dad putting on his helmet, not him putting on the helmet and having his dad adjust the strap. Racing may not be his true passion.

    Compare that to Lewis who’s slogan is “Still I Rise”, meaning he wants to race no matter what happens.

  119. Hamilton has responded: “I am not surprised he quits (…) This is the first time he beat me in 18 years. He quits at the hight of his career”

    A really harsh but true reponse, very cool imho.

  120. When you define your life through one thing, you have no reason to go on when it is achieved. Rosberg defined his early racing career through beating Lewis – after all, he was his best friend at the time, and the benchmark (he said as much himself). And once this was done, he didn’t really have much of an incentive to go on – especially as he knows ALL the stars have to align in his favour for it to happen.

    In truth, this is the first time Rosberg since partnering with Lewis that he felt the “perfect storm” or necessary conditions had been created, which gave him the best he had a good chance of winning the title. He knows this is highly unlikely to happen again, and knowing what the pressure felt like, i believe he could not envisage putting himself through it again.

    I seen no “legend”, “class” or whatever he has been called based on this decision. I simply see someone who could not handle being put through the pressure cooker of a close title fight again, and decided to bow out gracefully. Put simply, winners don’t quit.

    On a different note, i do believe there is more to this “retirement” than meets the eye. After all, he is still within contract at Mercedes, and they must have know he was retiring. I see a lot of things adding up in the future.

    1. “On a different note, i do believe there is more to this “retirement” than meets the eye. After all, he is still within contract at Mercedes, and they must have know he was retiring. I see a lot of things adding up in the future.”

      Oh my goodness! I wanted to express EXACTLY the same thoughts, and decided “what the heck, the argument just goes on”. I mean there really is no end to the debate.

      But seriously, no one can tell me that Toto Wolff was not aware of Rosbergs plans. It will also be interesting to see how the contract issue is resolved.

      1. “no one can tell me that Toto Wolff was not aware of Rosbergs plans”

        Same here. It’s a guy who “wants to control everything in the paddock” we are talking about.

  121. Currently 261 comments have been posted. My congratulations to Nico for his brave decision. I was very pleased that he thanked Bernie Ecclestone when he won his Championship.
    You do hear of people that, upon winning a very prestigious award, decide to retire. I think he would have found it difficult to have beaten Lewis Hamilton next year, even if Mercedes aren’t the front running team by the end of the season.

  122. Wow!!! Who said F1 was not excinting anymore? Well done, Nico.

  123. I was walking home and heard the news. I looked down at the kerb and saw double yellow lines. They reminded me of Nico. What a chicken. Too scared to defend the title. I bet he’ll regret his decision.

  124. If alonso does go to Mercedes (must add that to my santa letter), Jenson will have to change his twitter account to f1 driver again…

  125. Rosberg’s post-race interview was the first time I heard him saying sincere and heartfelt words. That statement is the second. Surely it cannot be a coincidence. I can’t help feeling like he just turned back into a nice guy. It is terrible what the F1 environment can do to people.

    I thought I would be very happy to see him turning his back to F1. I am not so sure now.

    1. — Rosberg’s post-race interview was the first time I heard him saying sincere and heartfelt words. —

      I had exactly the same impression. Nico seemed genuine and human in the post race interview on C4. In previous interviews he sometimes seemed a little evasive, even snarky. My wife, who is an F1 fan, said the same thing about his candour.

      I could not warm to Nico before he won the 2016 WDC. I regarded him in a new light after his championship interview on C4.

      I’ve undergone a similar change of attitude towards Vettel, his Ferrari team radio tantrums notwithstanding. I was put off by Vettel and his finger salute, when he was at Red Bull. But listening to him after he became a Ferrari driver, I started to like the guy; he’s both intelligent and witty.

      1. Good to hear that I am not the only one having noticed that change. Actually I am probably unfair when I am saying that he just turned back into a nice guy. I strongly suspect that he was a nice guy all along, but decided that it was essential not to let anybody know, on pain of appearing weak, or being vulnerable to being exploited.

    2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      2nd December 2016, 19:29

      @palindnilap Exaxtly the same here. I’d never warmed to the guy until that point, he finally came across as a real person, and a really nice person, rather than a slick PR automaton.

  126. Just to throw a spanner in the works- what if Hamilton got a hold of “hard evidence” regarding a “gentleman’s agreement” between Merc and Nico and threatened to go public unless Nico retired (a la Alonso ’07)? That way, Rosberg keeps his championship, Merc keep their constructors and everyone’s happy? I thought Rosberg’s reasons for retirement where quite understandable but upon reflection something doesn’t quite add up for me. When you view the this news in the context of the way the season has gone- from Merc’s problems mainly on car 44 yet car 06 ran like clock work, the mechanics swap, ‘Merc reverting to the clutch systems Rosberg was more comfortable with’, Lauda personally visiting Rosberg when he lost his 43 point advantage mid season, Merc’s behaviour in Abu Dhabi after stating “they wouldn’t get involved”… Its easy to get carried away but the conspiracy theories don’t seem so fatuous now in my eyes.

    1. There’s no conspiracy. He is a good guy that wanted his family life, and had one task – win the championship.
      I do believe that Nico’s plan for the remaining races was simple and targeted to avoid any points loss.
      1) Nothing else matters but the championship
      2) Try to avoid antagonising Lewis, in press conferences always say, “Lewis is driving well”, “it will be tough”, “step by step”, “make the best of what’s in front of me”, “stick to the plan” – this plan.
      3) Never go head to head against Lewis in the final races, the outcomes are unpredictable. Lewis is highly motivated, the situation is incredibly tense, mistakes happen. Let Lewis get 10 seconds ahead of you, that’s a good margin, all Nico needs was second. For a racer, this is blasphemy. But for a someone taking on Lewis Hamilton, and with disappointments of previous years – it works.
      4) On point 3, even if Nico could have taken Lewis, say things like “Lewis was too quick”, “I couldn’t catch him”, “he deserves the win”.
      5) Don’t mention anything about retiring. To do so would change the power table, and create additional pressure in an environment that was already high pressure. Every press member would go into overdrive about the vacant Mercedes seat, speculation just wouldn’t end as to why Nico was leaving.

      Maybe I’m naive, but that’s what I saw happening.

      1. “There’s no conspiracy”. Unless your Merc you cannot say that with absolute certainty and present it as fact. We will agree to disagree, but for me something doesn’t quite add up.

    2. I think you are pushing it a little too far, mate.
      Mercedes is for sure pleased Rosberg has won, maybe we could argue they fixed it a bit, but hey: this is not forbidden. Even if Hamilton has evidence about Merc favoring Rosberg (which, in some way, I believe he has) , what could he do?

  127. I might be wrong, but here’s my take.
    Rosberg must have known from their carting days that Hamilton is gifted. The three years at Mercedes he spent working his heart out just to draw level. Such a situation is extremely demotivating. I know from my own experience that working alongside someone more talented is very taxing on one’s inner strength. The stress must have been enormous.
    Some people say the retirement shows that Rosberg is weak. I say those people are blind with hate. Rosberg worked his heart out at Mercedes. He beat Schumacher only to hear many people disparaging this effort by saying Schumacher was over the hill. Given how close Rosberg was to Hamilton, perhaps Schumacher was better than people think. And when Rosberg new they have a rocket of a car for the next season, Lauda comes in with Hamilton. This must have been so hard for Rosberg, and if he was as weak as some make him, he would have settled into a comfortable position of clear number 2, like Massa or Barrichello. But he never resigned, he dreamed his dream and worked like crazy for it. Weak?
    And now, and he knows with luck, he got the highest prize. What would he gain by going longer? Some people say he should prove his worth. To whom? To people who disparaged his effort for so long? To raise some numbers that are, when you look back, meaningles?
    He has a small child now. Thos magic years will last only about two, three more years, and then they are gone. I was lucky to have flexible working hours and I shared almost all waking hours of my two children during their three years. It was magical. Yes, some men do not understand it, I see it from comments. But for some, sharing those moments that are so quickly gone is worth a lot of money, especially if you already have them.
    Leaving took guts. He could have cruised like so many before him. I say staying would have been the easy way.

  128. Had I been blessed with exceptional footballing skills (or a sufficiently rich family to go motor racing), I’d have retired earlier than most. I’d want to get out, leave behind the pressures and enjoy my accumulated wealth while I was still young.

    So I can totally understand why he’s done it.

  129. Big facepalm moment. I still can’t realize that this has actually happened. It takes a lot of guts for a racing driver with still a few years left in the sport to make the ultimate sacrifice right after winning the championship.
    It is a scintillating development that now throws up too many questions:
    1. 2017 regulations are supposed to bring back excitement for the drivers. There is a lot of emphasis on car development too. That brings in many uncertainties. Why won’t a consistent driver like Rosberg look to capitalize on those?
    2. By his own admission he has achieved his goal. But if a goal is achieved in sport then the next higher milestone can also be set. Is it that impractical to aim for another championship?
    3. Mercedes will have to fill up his place and they have to have a competitive driver for the constructors championship. At this late in the season, who can they rope in?

    1. @pinakghosh Rosberg has a young family, one he’s away from significant amounts of time chasing a piece of silverware. He’s missing genuine experiences that he will never again have.

      This is a big decision, but it’s also the right decision.

  130. All I can say is what a beautiful letter. I think his child or children will treasure that more than a second title from their dad, for how it shows both his dedication to his craft and to them. And so remarkable is it for a top-level sportsman or any successful man to honestly tally the sacrifices and dedication of his wife to his career. I have worked among and for some men (and women), law partners, etc., who are quick to dismiss such burdens with references to the nannies, drivers, and other ancillaries they pay to help raise their children, never noting the deficiencies of ersatz parenthood. Often they never learn until the spouse serves divorce papers or they have to cut short a pitch meeting to bail the teenager out of jail.

  131. I just really don’t buy this whole it being for family reasons, Michael Schumacher won 5 of his world championships with his family whilst raising his children. I think once you’re in that position as a champion you can dictate your lifestyle pretty well, Lewis when he moved to Mercedes said they are way more laid back with the corporate work outside of race weekends compared to Mclaren.

    Yes F1 drivers work hard but really how hard compared to most careers where people get a few weeks off at most every year? I feel like there’s a bit more to it than just that.

    1. Horses for courses. Watching and raising your young children is an experience a lot forgo and regret.

      It’s Nico’s personal choice.

      1. Or maybe just maybe..Nico feels he won’t be able to win another championship so get out whilst the going is good? Even Toto has said Lewis would have won if it weren’t for Malaysia and other mechanical problems. I think you would have to be an idiot to be in his situation and not know how much of a lucky break he got this year, rather than go out with a whimper years later go out on a high.

  132. Weak move, but it is his decision, and if he wants to spend more time with his family good to all of them.
    There is nothing of “legend” or “class” in it, he doesn’t want to do it anymore and he knows he probably wouldn’t win another one again. He quits on his prime, after a great career.
    Best of luck!!

  133. I am calling Toto right now. JeJeJe.
    I back peoples!

  134. Sviatoslav (@)
    2nd December 2016, 18:38

    I completely understand Rosberg.
    First, he will never become a champion again. Mercedes will not allow this to happen.
    Second, he saw what’s happened in the last race. Toto and Lauda promised that if Hamilton will try to do what Horner told him to do, they would call Rosberg in the pit earlier to make sure the team wins the race.
    And Mercedes forgot about their words.
    They also promised to punish Hamilton for disobedience. And they didn’t.

    Given that Rosberg has a family now, he did everything right.

    PS: I’d be happy to see Alonso in Mercedes, but this will never happen.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      2nd December 2016, 19:02

      Toto and Lauda promised that if Hamilton will try to do what Horner told him to do, they would call Rosberg in the pit earlier to make sure the team wins the race.
      And Mercedes forgot about their words.

      Hamilton didn’t back them up until right at the end of the race, after the pit stops were over and done with. So your point makes no sense.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 19:25

      @sviat a lot of drivers have families… don’t read much into it, we all know why he was allowed to retire…

      1. He was ALLOWED to retire? Enlighten us, what’s the real reason behind retirement, maybe there’s something we didn’t notice. Anyway, all we do it’s just speculate.

      2. @freelittlebirds Would you like to share any information that can substantiate your point of “being allowed to retire”?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          3rd December 2016, 14:30

          @pinakghosh Have you heard anyone coming out to speak about Rosberg’s departure? Is that normal?

          Is it normal that his dad would be talking this week about his son racing better next year as all champions who win do?

          Is it normal that Nico was deciding which number to race under on Thursday yet had made his mind up on Monday?

          Do you believe that Nico decided to quit on the eve of his celebration so he can change diapers which as we know they have a nanny doing…

          Mercedes is dead quiet – even Lauda is silent.

          You’d be hearing Toto saying “I tried everything to keep him. I offered him more money. I didn’t accept his resignation and told him he’ll have to wait until we find another driver. Then we can talk again and see what he thought”.

          They’d have Lauda try to talk some sense into him. Hell, even Dieter would call him.

          They’d even have Lewis talking to him asking him “are you sure you really wanna do this? they all try to come back – look at Casey Stoner”

    3. Toto and Lauda promised that if Hamilton will try to do what Horner told him to do, they would call Rosberg in the pit earlier to make sure the team wins the race.
      And Mercedes forgot about their words.

      Hamilton only started backing Rosberg up after the last round of pitstops. What do you expect Mercedes to do?

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2016, 14:38

      @sviat why would Mercedes care if Lewis backs up Nico? Nico can just pass him, simple as that… Could Lewis be so good that he backed Nico up so that Nico couldn’t pass him?

      Surely that would be an amazing race to watch and surely Lewis deserved the championship for doing so, right? I can only think of 1 driver who could do that.

      I’ve been hearing rumors that the fastest Ferrari in the world had a hard time passing a “bus driver” last week according to a famous driver…

  135. No #1 car either for next year!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 19:23

      @bilarxos
      Nico was still undecided yesterday… He was canned overnight…

  136. Well That is a Super shocker .. kind of shows the strong character !!!!! I guess Toto would have destroyed his phone by now given it has not stopped ringing since today morning.

    I am guessing Vettel would be next in line to retire this year. so 2 World Champions + 1 almost world champion for 30 seconds (per montzemolo) retire this year !!!!

    Good Luck Nico. Have a wonderful life with your family. Bravo !!!!

  137. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    2nd December 2016, 19:23

    Clever man. Anyone who’s been following Hamilton’s career could have predicted that he’d be on a mission in 2017 to absolutely demolish his teammate, the press would have a field day asking Rosberg about the worth of 2016. Few people expect Rosberg to win another, this way he’s bowed out at the pinnacle of his career.

  138. For those hardcore F1 Fans who don’t seem to understand how a champion could make this decision, just look at these pictures:

    http://www.formel1.de/news/news/2016-12-02/emotion-pur-nico-rosbergs-letztes-formel-1-rennen-in-bildern/zoom?exclusive=14#exclusive

    http://www.formel1.de/news/news/2016-12-02/emotion-pur-nico-rosbergs-letztes-formel-1-rennen-in-bildern/zoom?exclusive=16#exclusive

    It really isn’t that hard to see, that he is a family-person and family is where he can get his joy in life.

    All this sensation about some cruel background story at Mercedes, never-ending conspiracy stuff when Hamilton fails to succeed … often it’s entertaining how crazy people can become, but even more often it’s just tedious. I don’t get it, but then again that’s how the internet works nowadays and how everyone wants to be seen smarter than anyone else.

    I was never a fan of Rosberg, but i was shocked and i fastly noticed that i will miss him. But by looking at his photos in the celebration-gallery, i know he is about to start the happiest chapter of his life – and i’m happy for him!

    Just one more thing …Hamilton’s comment to this anouncement exposes his real character quite well. But then again, being defeated and showing dignity isn’t everybody’s talent…

    1. Just one more thing …Hamilton’s comment to this anouncement exposes his real character quite well. But then again, being defeated and showing dignity isn’t everybody’s talent…

      Riiiiiiiiight.

      I’m probably one of the only people that it was not a surprise to [hear]
      But that’s because I’ve known him for a long time.
      This is the first time he’s won [in their rivalry since karting] in 18 years, hence why it was not a surprise that he decided to stop.
      But he’s also got a family to focus on, having children, and Formula 1 takes so much of your time.
      We started out when we were 13 and we’d always talked about being champions.
      When I joined this team [Mercedes] Nico was there, which was again something we talked about when we were kids.
      It’s going to be very very strange, and it will be sad not to have him in the team next year.
      The sport will miss him, and I wish him all the best.

    2. When you’ve whooped some one 3-1 and for most of your life! He’s only stated what rosberg said already, achieving life ambition! . What more did you want some Mushy pea good by story. This is racing! Rosberg Wil be replaced and the world will turn!

    3. You know what?
      I guess Rosberg’s reaction (retiring) when he realized he won’t never won again speaks volumes about his true character too.
      You won the lottery, grab the prize and run away with it.

  139. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd December 2016, 19:32

    So Keke said Nico will be stronger next year, Nico partied until 9am and the next morning informed Toto he’s retiring – yesterday he was asked if he’d race under #6 or #1 and said he hadn’t decided…

    Play this out in your minds and give me 1 scenario where Nico could have retired…

    1. Keke didnt know or knew but didnt want to give it away. On the number thing its obvious. What did you expect him to say? “Oh i will actually retire, but keep it to yourself until ive told my boss about it”?

  140. I absolutely hate how some people are calling him a coward. He did what he wanted, now he wants to spend all the lost time with his family. He has his priorities set. He owes his nearest ones something and that made him choose it this way!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd December 2016, 20:28

      @redbullf1 can we stop the family nonsense? what about everyone else at the paddock? don’t they have families? do they get up and break their contracts after winning the WDC? Forget about the extra $25 million or so he would have made this year and he’s thrown away along with some crazy F1 stats…

      What about his F1 family? Nico is a team guy above all or so he claims – there are 1,500 people he’s leaving with zero notice. It just makes the whole family thing sound so hollow. Did you see him celebrating with his team? Hey guys, I’m retiring in 5 hours! So long sluckers!!! Drinks are on me:-) Adios!!!

      1. Well said mate. Nobody thinks about the team he is letting down. Nico the coward, that is how I’ll remember him (If I can be bothered to).

        1. Great point! Everyone keeps saying he’s family man, how he was so much more of a team player than Lewis. Now he got what he wants and his running of to the hills. How about letting the team get a least a year of having you as world champion. Allowing then team to celebrate your success. Can you imagine his mechanic finding out the news… … As a f1 fan I feel cheated. However he’s free to do as he likes.

      2. @freelittlebirds

        The other team members probably don’t have the money in the bank to comfortably call it a day and nothing is stopping them from finding work that doesn’t take them away from their families so much if that’s how they want to prioritise their life. They don’t need to be in F1 to put food on the table, they choose to be.

        As for letting the team down he’s just given them 7 of the best years of his life and helped deliver 3 world championships for them all to put on their resume, they still have a 3 times world champion to work with and the most desired seat in F1 now free to attract another elite driver for them to have the privilege of working with.

        People end employment contracts all the time, his contract won’t have prohibited retirement don’t try holding a person to a higher standard than any normal person lives up to. I’ve quit jobs, I’d guess you’ve quit employment at some point. No one sacrifices them self to a work team above their own happiness and that of their family.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          3rd December 2016, 0:51

          @philpgb

          Grosjean, Felipe, Kimi, and Seb have families and kids too. Barrichello, Schumacher did as well. They also have a lot of money but they continued to race. Felipe did so after a very scary accident to his head.

          Nico is still a very young man – barely past the midpoint of his career.

          7 of the best years of his life? Come on man. It sounds like he was in prison or pulling all nighters instead of flying in a jet and winning 30 poles, 23 victories:-)

          That being said, let’s all make a wish that he retired on his own although everything points to the opposite being true…

          1. You might also say shuey&co were a bit egoistic about that? Also keep in Mind the guy was shueys Teammate for Three years. Shuey banked on having more Time with his family and we all know how that turnt out. This might very well be on his Mind

          2. What does it matter what choices other drivers make? My mother would say to me growing up ‘if such and such jumped off a cliff would you?’ It bears no comparison for the choice Rosberg has made that others have made different choices. It’s something entirely subjective, they’re doing what they want to do, he’s doing what he wants to do.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            3rd December 2016, 14:47

            @philipgb You don’t leave Barcelona to go change diapers at the zenith of your career. Barcelona leaves you or you get your own tailor-made team like Ibrahimovic did who left because he was practically persona non-grata at Camp Nou.

      3. “What about his F1 family? Nico is a team guy above all or so he claims – there are 1,500 people he’s leaving with zero notice. It just makes the whole family thing sound so hollow.”

        Nonsense. Mercedes F1 Team is a company. And it was his job. Since when a company is a family? Stop drinking the kool-aid.

  141. Perhaps not a surprise. Didn’t Lewis once say Nico had no hunger? He’s another Jenson Button, a one-hit wonder who was invariably going to roll downhill from then on. Didn’t fancy facing Lewis next season. So what if he has a baby – didn’t he know he had a baby when he signed his contract extension?
    Next to Jenson, perhaps the most overrated “world champion” ever.
    Mercedes need to hand that seat to a real racer – someone that can push Hamilton more than Nico ever could dare. Alonso, Verstappen come to mind.

    1. He’s another Jenson Button, a one-hit wonder who was invariably going to roll downhill from then on

      Would that be the same Jenson Button that, following his Championship win, went on to beat Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso?

      If that’s rolling down hill then I wouldn’t say rolling down hill is that bad!

  142. King Nico, Princess Lewis.
    Total respect for Nico.
    I’m totally surprised, but somehow it all makes sense now.

    1. No prizes for petulant comment of the day there then…

      1. Sounds like a comment from Lewis himself.
        Hi Lewis !

        1. Pot, Kettle springs to mind

  143. At first this news totally surprised me, but I after reading his statement, I do respect him a lot for making the decision and for his situation it makes sense.

    I agree with the other commenters sentiments about the importance of family, and one thing I didn’t see mentioned in the comments was that he knows first hand the compromises a child of a racing driver has (as well as the benefits).

    So perhaps his father missed out on some experiences when Nico was a young child, and now the calendar is so full of races that he doesn’t want to do the same.

    I can only imagine that this year must have been grueling for him, and next year would be even more so with the regulation changes and a Hamilton wanting revenge.

  144. Ofcourse everybody is assuming that Mercedes will have the best car next year, we won’t know that until we see the test times and then the first few grands prix of next season to be sure. Its all mouthwatering stuff, the NOT KNOWING! I havn’t been this stunned by a retirement since Mika Hakkinen walked back in 2001, really unbelievable.
    Being a father of two daughters myself, I can understand Rosberg’s decision. More to the point, I can respect it.
    By the way, how long does it take a Spaniard to drive from Woking to Stuttgart anyhow?

  145. As an 11 year old I remember my Dad telling me about Keke Rosberg’s debut in Brazil and how impressed he was with the way he drove in a vastly underpowered car to those of the turbos. From that moment I became a Rosberg fan and it was very natural for me to support Nico when he came to F1 in 2006. The trait that I admire above all in the both of them is the steely determination and intelligence when faced with a clear disadvantage. Keke himself professed that he often went beyond his limits in his attempt to keep up with the turbos. Nico, not as blessed on the driving talent, but his application behind the scenes to compensate for that deficit, has been extraordinary and highly undervalued, perhaps until now. What a very smart and admirable decision.

  146. It doesn’t surprise me he wants out. It must be difficult after giving everything this season (as he described) to find himself still being outdriven by his team mate. Sounds like he is doing the smart thing.

  147. This announcement is like a grenade now, in the drivers’ market :-O

  148. Monet kiitokset, Nico, hyvin tehty. Kuten isä, kuten poika.

  149. Wow, so now Nico has set a precedent for F1 teams to never fully trust a driver to work his whole contract.

    Like everyone, I respect his decision, it’s a good one for him, but this is how drivers in single seaters are bred… to think purely for themselves.

    It’ll be fascinating to see who moves where from here, but Merc will also know to carefully word their contract so they can make sure they get what they sign!

    1. Paul Ortenburg
      2nd December 2016, 23:53

      I think you find the working relationship behind the scenes was so toxic the only recourse was for one of the drivers to leave.

  150. That’s what happens when you lift the old CEO in the air : you end up quitting your job for “family reasons”…

    (don’t take this seriously)

  151. So, I just heard the news and I am as amazed as anyone.

    I understand that this season has taken a lot out of Rosberg and put a very hard strain on the family man Rosberg. I respect the decision.

    He has got nothing left to prove, he did it all this season. He turned out to be the better Mercedes driver this year, although not the fastest. I wish him well.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Mercedes will get over it.

  152. My only consolation, in coming to terms with Lewis not winning the Championship, was that it would be a benefit to the sport to have a German World Champion; I’m certain that at the tracks in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and others in the region, there would have been an up-surge in attendance… well, Mercedes only have themselves to blame for engineering the Championship.

  153. Paul Ortenburg
    2nd December 2016, 23:51

    I doubt Red Bull would let Riccardo or Max go and that looks like a driver lineup they are keen to keep for a few years (personal relationships willing).

    But what about Sainz? He was nearly equal to Max with less fanfair and at the moment has no real hope of moving up the Red Bull ladder.

    He’ll also be a cheaper buyout than either Daniel or Max. Though again would Red Bull even allow it no matter how much money Merc was to give them.

    What if Merc suddenily made engines available?

    So many possibilities have been open up by this decision. I forsee some very high phone bills over the next 1-2 weeks.

  154. This is why only celibate males should be allowed F1 careers…. eunuchs need not apply. (/joking)

    Best of both worlds – His daughter should be able to fit inside the car in his lap, under the protection of the Halo. A Baby On Board sticker on the back of the car to boot. Pebbles in Flintstone’s car. (also /joking).

    Shock decision, I usually don’t like these guys at first but come in time to love all of them. I hope he doesn’t engage in too many just as risky situations after F1, like skiing or Porsche racing.

  155. That is a massive bombshell!

    Respect to Nico for going out on top.

  156. I texted my dad about this earlier …
    … he responded quite succinctly;

    “Wimp”.

  157. Seems a nice way to give Lewis the finger! Merc give the fans what they want: Alonso! McLaren may have to do an about face with Jenson.

    1. ..and some people still accuse Lewis of bad sportsmanship.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2016, 13:47

      @72defender definitely but Nico’s out of F1 permanently for doing so. He paid a pretty hefty penalty along with his championship.

  158. Respect Nico
    You have achieved your dream well done
    Now your dream is commitment to your family like they have been committed to you and followed you around the world
    You are a good guy who would rather be with family than in the limelight falling out of clubs n hanging with celebs !!!
    Good luck with your future.
    Ps pls give alonso your car keys and seat 😜

  159. So I’ll play devil’s advocate here and say that Rosberg figured his chances of winning a second championship were thin.

  160. I still cannot believe it to this day !!! Respect for Nico for this decision.

  161. Just realized Nico was first driver after Prost/Senna who beat his teammate, who had become a champion within the team. Last 25 years the same driver has won all following titles as long as the team/car is fastest. Not this year! Great job, Nico

    1988 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren
    1989 France Alain Prost McLaren
    1990 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren
    1991 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren
    1992 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams
    1993 France Alain Prost Williams
    1994 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton
    1995 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton
    1996 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams
    1997 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Williams
    1998 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren
    1999 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren
    2000 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
    2001 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
    2002 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
    2003 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
    2004 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
    2005 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
    2006 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
    2007 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
    2008 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren
    2009 United Kingdom Jenson Button Brawn
    2010 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
    2011 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
    2012 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
    2013 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
    2014 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
    2015 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
    2016 Germany Nico Rosberg Mercedes

    1. The first to beat and win a championship. Massa beat Raikkonen in 2008.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd December 2016, 13:59

      @f1lauri interesting analysis – Nico won the championship and lost everything else along the way (poles, wins, podiums, laps, head-2-head, wet races, his job) – the only thing he won are 5 more points in a season that was marred by tremendous issues for Lewis and he still just needed 1 race to resolve a 80 point deficit through the season which is akin to leading by 120 pts since deficits between teammates are lost leads…

  162. If you win the lottery, you won’t play again. Simple as that.

  163. ColdFly F1 (@)
    3rd December 2016, 10:49

    (not really adding to the discussion, but wanted to say it anyway)
    Respect, Nico!

  164. Bye then…

    Anyway, moving on…

  165. Keke lasted a bit longer!

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      3rd December 2016, 12:52

      @Sergey Martyn
      Actually no he didn’t – Keke did 1978 to 1986 and Nico did 10 years, but it doesn’t matter!

      Didn’t see this one coming but reading his thoughts and how much sacrificed to win very happy for him – great career, best of luck to you Nico!!!

  166. Who they sign next year? VES? Or someone who won’t interferre Hamilton champoinships?
    Forza Karthikeyan!

  167. Not a big Rosberg fan but boy what a shock this story is …. a shame to see such talent retiring so early and so suddenly and regardless of what some people think he thoroughly deserved this years WDC …. I wish him luck in whatever he does in the future.

  168. I’m sorry I didn’t read through 400+ posts. I don’t understand one thing. How can a driver just quit when he is bound to a 2-year contract. Nico leaving puts Mercedes in a bad situation when it comes to picking a replacer since most drivers are now bound to other contracts. Sure Merc are attractive employers and can even buy out drivers out of signed contracts, but that couldn’t be a sound way of running business when it’s easier to write contracts in a safer manner.
    Normally – given the complexity of F1 rules and what not – I’d expect the quitting driver to be fined, if walking out of his agreed contract. Am I wrong?
    Maybe Keith knows?
    This somehow smells as if something went wrong behind the scenes in the Mercedes group steering either now or a couple of races ago. Agreement, quitting, if not something special fulfilled… Whatever.
    I just can’t buy it. Nico can’t just be allowed to walk out of his signed contract without a fine or the like. Can he?

    1. Drivers are not slaves. They can quit whenever they like. The “only” restrictions they might have to deal with; would be gardening leave to prevent them from driving for other team immediately, or actually paying off their contract themselves to be able to drive for someone else immediately. I hope that all some sense?

      1. I’m sorry… no.

        F1 being the top layer of it’s category, should mean exactly that – slaves under contract. More or less. We all know for instance F1 drivers are never allowed to talk negatively about anything in F1. They must color the sport attractive and glamorous in all cases. Slaves? We all know how much Kimi hates to talk to media, but still does. Not mentioning anything about promotion. They are hired to “work”. Slaves is maybe not the correct word, but they are hired to do “a job”.

        If I hire a consultant to my company, the better he is, the more I’ll have to pay. As is in F1. The better the consultant is, the more sensitive will it be for me to loose him. That’s also why I write contracts saying that he can’t walk out, unless he has warned me 6 months ahead. If he is less skilled, I will most likely be less hurt by being left by him so I can agree on 1 month. Same logic alpplies to most areas. F1 being the top of “skill” – should be extreme in that matter.

        In F1 – still top layer – teams should be very careful, hiring worlds best drivers and engineers. Why shouldn’t they apply such rules/contracts, when it only protects the teams? Anything else would be completely stupid. Why would Merc want to put themselves in situations where any keyplayer can just leave and leave a hole in the company? To help other teams catch up? Hmm… In that case, F1 teams must really be nervous places.

        I don’t know much about how F1 teams are run, that’s why I am wondering. I am also curious to what kinds of methods they use to try to keep their employees.

        1. I’m not sorry… no.

          Slavery isn’t legal in any of the countries F1 races in. I have an employment contract with my employer, I can give them notice to quit though. It’s a pretty basic human right. You can even legally quit a contract with a death do us part clause.

          His contract will have all kinds of exit clauses, he won’t be able to work for a competitor and he might even be forfeiting any performance bonus he’s earned. But you can’t make someone work for you who doesn’t want to.

  169. Congrats Nico on the championship and the retirement! Going out on top is a great way to go. Enjoy the time with your family. You deserve it….

  170. So nico, u dont like racing? The crown is all u want?

  171. Ahahahahahaaaaaaaaa…. what a move!!!!! With this move ROS made HAM and his mind games look like a total fool… which he is indeed!! Somebody just had to made something to prove HAM is a fool and I admit I did not expect that move to come from ROS. Way to go Nico! Respect!

    1. I’m really having bad time in trying to imagine some UFC fighter running away, and in doing so preventing another guy to challenge him. That other guy really willing to have his rematch after had lost the previous one duo to a broken toe which made the fight to be stopped (while winning on the points).
      And having even worse time in trying to imagine the crowd praising the wimp fella.

      Go figure.

  172. Greetings!
    What a clever comment! COTD!
    Not that we ignore the fact nobody plays to lose, but competing in the pinneacle of motorsport is an honor, it shouldn’t only be about the crown.
    But I always saw him hyped as a sportsman, I mean, there are some fellas who want to have his adopted babies but not because his driving capabilities nor his sportsmanship.
    He’s a good driver. Nothing more.
    May he have all the best luck.

  173. He was very unlikely to have the same luck next year.

    He totally hates losing, so instead of continuing living a painful life he chose to quit, makes perfect sense.

    But let’s be honest there’s no honour in a Single WDC that you lucked into.

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