- Title: Rosberg stuns Formula One with retirement bombshell
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** ROSBERG IN CROWD
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 13:42
- Keywords: Nico Rosberg Mercedes Formula One retirement motor racing
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA0035B6ZPZ3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nico Rosberg stunned Formula One on Friday (December 2) with the shock announcement that he was retiring only days after winning his first world championship with Mercedes.
"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," the German said in a statement on Facebook.
"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," the 31-year-old added.
"I took my decision on Monday evening."
Factbox on Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg:
- - - -
Born: Wiesbaden, Germany on June 27, 1985 (31 years old)
*Rosberg is the son of Finland's 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, who won his title with Williams, and German mother Sina. He was born four days after Keke won the 1985 USA-East Grand Prix in Detroit.
*Rosberg grew up in Monaco and still lives there with his wife Vivian and daughter Alaia. He speaks five languages but not Finnish.
*He and Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, a triple world champion, were team mates in go-karts in 2000. Rosberg tested for Williams in 2004, aged 17 and before he had his driving licence. He declined a place to study aeronautical engineering at London University's Imperial College.
*Rosberg made his Formula One race debut with Williams in Bahrain in 2006, scoring points with seventh place and setting the fastest lap, after becoming the first GP2 champion the previous season. He ended 2006 in 17th place overall.
*In 2007 he was ninth overall. The following year he stood on the podium for the first time, a third place in Australia, but ended up 13th at the end of the season. In 2009, his last year with Williams, he finished seventh overall.
*Rosberg joined Mercedes -- who had bought champions Brawn GP -- for the 2010 season and partnered seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher. The younger German scored 142 points to Schumacher's 72.
*Rosberg also outscored Schumacher in the following two seasons, taking his first pole and grand prix victory in China in 2012. In 2013, Lewis Hamilton replaced Schumacher and finished the season fourth overall to Rosberg's sixth.
*In 2013, Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix exactly 20 years after his father had triumphed there. In 2014, he had five wins -- the same number that Keke had in his entire career -- from 11 pole positions and finished overall runner-up to Hamilton.
*Rosberg was again championship runner-up to Hamilton in 2015 but ended the year strongly with three straight wins. He picked up where he left off in 2016 by taking the first four races, the first driver since Schumacher in 2004 to do that, while Hamilton suffered various problems.
*He is only the second son of a Formula One champion to win the title, after Damon Hill. Hill took his 1996 title 34 years after father Graham first became champion in 1962. Rosberg's comes 34 years after Keke's success.
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