‘No team would want me anymore’: Nico Rosberg opens up after Lewis Hamilton battle

Nico Rosberg retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2016 season after securing his first world championship.

When Nico Rosberg announced that he was leaving Formula 1 at the end of the 2016 season, it surprised many in the Formula 1 world, as he was at the top of the sport.

Having recently signed a contract extension with Mercedes until 2018 and won the 2016 Drivers’ Championship, it was thought that the German-Finn would continue in the sport.

However, at the prizegiving that December, Rosberg shocked the industry by simultaneously announcing his retirement from the sport with immediate effect.

Rosberg had taken the 2016 title by becoming one of the few drivers to have bested Lewis Hamilton in the same machinery.

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After losing to Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg finally secured his maiden title after finishing second in the final race in Abu Dhabi, winning the Drivers’ Championship by just 5 points.

“[I was] afraid that at some point I wouldn’t be good enough and that no team would want me anymore.” Rosberg revealed in an interview with Men’s Health Magazine. 

“I wanted to decide for myself,” he added, explaining his reason for retiring. 

“In a way, I gave up my identity.

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 “Everything in my life was racing: my mechanics, my engineers, my team-mates, even my social environment.

“To put all that to zero in one fell swoop was a shock to my system. Then there was the addiction to recognition and success.

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“I had never asked myself what other passions I had. There was always just the next race.”

After racing, Rosberg “invested a lot” in rediscovering who he was outside of racing, ultimately returning to the paddock as an F1 pundit for Sky Sports.

Since his return to the sport, Rosberg has been a regular face on TV, providing an insight into his former teammate and experience on-track.