In an unexpected move, Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula One on 2 December 2016, just five days after he grabbed his first-ever F1 World Champion title in the season’s final race at Abu Dhabi.
The 31-year-old, who beat his Mercedes team-mate and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton by five points, stated that he was retiring from the sport to spend more quality time with his wife, Vivian and baby daughter, Alaia.
This is the first time that a reigning world champion has decided to quit the sport. Last time something similar happened was in 1993 when Alain Prost announced his retirement after winning his fourth driver’s title.
About Rosberg and his accomplishments
• He is the son of former F1 world champion, Keke Rosberg, who won the title in 1982.
• He won the 2005 GP2 series for the French motor racing team, ART
• He made his F1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006 for Williams, his father’s old team.
• He raced for the team from 2006- 2009 and then joined Mercedes from 2010 until 2016.
• He raced in 206 Grand Prix competitions and has 23 Formula one wins and 30 Formula one pole positions to his name.
• He is also the fourth driver in the history of Formula one to win the Monaco Grand Prix thrice in a row and to have 7 consecutive Grand Prix wins.
• He has also won the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in 2011, FIA Pole Trophy in 2014 and DHL Fastest Lap.
Rosberg made the shocking announcement through a post on his social media account. His departure does surely raise an important question of – who will take his position in the Mercedes team. The popular names that cropped up were Sebastian Vettel, Pascal Wehrlein, and Fernando Alonso. However, Vettel and Alonso are already to their tied to their respective teams for another season.