Nico Rosberg’s departure from Formula 1 after winning the World Championship in 2016 left many fans surprised. However, in a recent interview with Men’s Health magazine, Rosberg revealed that he left the sport because he was afraid of not being good enough in the future and wanted to exit the sport while still at his peak.
Rosberg’s rivalry with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was one of the fiercest in Formula 1 history, with the pair battling for the title in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons. Hamilton came out on top in the first two years, but Rosberg won the 2016 title in dramatic fashion. In the aftermath of that success, he announced his retirement from the sport, which shocked the F1 world.
GET ONE MONTH FREE AND LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE HERE
Speaking about his decision to retire, Rosberg said: “I was afraid that at some point I wouldn’t be good enough and that no team would want me anymore. I wanted to decide for myself.” He added that he wanted to exit the sport while still at his peak, rather than potentially going into a period of decline.
While the decision to retire was not a difficult one for Rosberg, he did find it challenging to discover an identity for himself without Formula 1 in his life. “In a way, I gave up my identity,” he said. “Everything in my life was racing: my mechanics, my engineers, my teammates, even my social environment.”
Rosberg went on to explain that he was addicted to recognition and success, and that he had never asked himself what other passions he had. “There was always just the next race,” he said.
Despite the initial challenges, Rosberg has gone on to build a successful post-F1 life for himself. He founded his own Extreme E team as part of his wider career as a sustainability entrepreneur and remains a regular face in the Formula 1 paddock in a punditry role. Hamilton, on the other hand, has won four World titles in succession since Rosberg’s retirement, and is now in pursuit of his eighth World Championship crown to equal Michael Schumacher’s record.
Rosberg’s decision to retire while still at his peak was a bold one, and his subsequent success in other ventures is a testament to his determination and drive. His story is a reminder that it’s never too late to discover new passions and identities, and that success can come in many forms.