New Delhi [India], Dec. 2 : Barely a week after winning the 2016 Formula One World Championship, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on Friday announced that he has retired from the sport with immediate effect.
The 31-year-old made the surprising announcement through his Facebook account, stating that winning the championship had been his only dream and wanted to end his career on a high note.
"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," he said.
"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 (his wife) and Georg (Nolte, from Nico's management team), followed by Toto (Mercedez boss)," he added.
He said that his proudest achievement in racing will always be winning the world championship with his "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.," he said. Rosberg started his career with Williams F1 team whom he raced for them from 2006 till 2009. Rosberg later joined Mercedes in 2010 alongside seven time World champion Michael Schumacher where he raced with till the end of his career.
His father Keijo Erik Rosberg was also the champion who won the 1982 Formula One World Championship. Rosberg's career is well noted for his intense rivalry with fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Both have raced each other for 17 years starting from the junior formulas. However Hamilton has always had the upper hand in the race till the 2016. The duo's title rivalry is often credited to have played a significant role in shaping the F1 narrative in recent times.
Interestingly, both Rosberg and Damon Hill share a similar history. Both their fathers were well noted racers and F1 champions and repeated similar feats becoming champion themselves.