Kurt Verlin
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World Champion Nico Rosberg Announces Surprise Retirement from Formula 1

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Nico Rosberg interviewed

The Formula 1 off-season has barely begun and is already getting very interesting. Nico Rosberg, who just won the Formula 1 World Championship less than a week ago at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has announced his retirement from the sport, effective immediately.

This is the first time a reigning World Champion has retired from F1 since Alain Prost in 1993, but that was at the age of 38 after having secured four titles (Rosberg is 31 and has just the one). Yet Rosberg’s rationale for the move makes a lot of sense: becoming World Champion was his life goal ever since he was a boy and now that he has achieved it, he wants to focus on his marriage and on raising his young daughter. He’s had a successful 25-year career in racing, including 10 years in Formula 1, and wants to focus on family—who can fault the man for that?

What makes the decision truly interesting is the vacancy that just opened on the Mercedes AMG F1 team. Prior to retiring, Nico had had a two-year contract that would have seen him racing for the Silver Arrows till the end of 2018 or even longer had he managed to get the contract renewed again.

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Nico Rosberg's donuts

Rosberg celebrating his victory in Abu Dhabi

His suddenly-vacant seat should be, by far, the most coveted of any on the grid, as the team currently stands as the most dominant in the sport’s history with three runaway championship victories from 2014 to 2016. Despite the upcoming aero regulation changes, Mercedes is still expected to be the strongest team next season or at least a top contender.

Whichever driver manages to get the seat will instantly put himself in a position to be the 2017 Formula 1 World Champion, and that’s an opportunity that few F1 drivers are willing to pass up on—even if that means breaching their current contract with another team.

In any case, things are bound to get interesting and I can’t wait to see what will happen. In the meantime, you can read Nico Rosberg’s full (and rather heartwarming, I think) official statement on his Facebook page, linked below.

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News Source: Nico Rosberg Official Facebook Page

  • Kurt VerlinEditor

    Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.