Nico Rosberg makes admission about shock F1 retirement

Returning to the F1 paddock as a pundit this season, Nico Rosberg has discussed the shock he experienced after leaving Mercedes in 2016.

Nico Rosberg was in the prime of his motorsport career when he made the decision to retire from Formula 1 in 2016.

On course to win the Drivers’ Championship, Rosberg began to consider retiring from the sport with several races to go despite having only recently signed a contract extension with Mercedes.

Ultimately winning the title, Rosberg publicly announced he was retiring at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, describing how he had reached the “pinnacle” of his career and wanted to spend more time with his family.

Speaking to the German edition of Men’s Health magazine, Rosberg has now opened up about his struggles after stepping away from the highest tier of motorsport.

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Leaving F1 at the age of 31, Rosberg felt he had “given up” his identify, explaining how “everything in my life had been racing.”

“It was a shock to my system to go to zero in one fell swoop. I had never even asked myself what other passions I had. There was always only the next race.  

“I had to accept that no matter what I did, I was starting again from the bottom.”

“I also invested a lot to get to know myself,” Rosberg said, as he sought to overcome his biggest post-racing challenge of “finding meaning in life.”

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Rosberg’s decision to leave Formula 1 surprised many, as he became the first reigning world champion to retire since Alain Prost in 1993.

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Unlike Rosberg, Prost’s retirement came after he won four Drivers’ Championships across 12 seasons, while the German-Finn had only secured one title in ten years.

Since leaving Mercedes, Rosberg has returned to Formula 1 as a pundit and presenter for Sky Sports, appearing regularly at the track on race weekends.

He has also looked to become part of companies outside the sport, including those with a keen focus on sustainability.