‘Telling me to grow a pair of balls’: Rosberg reveals family message amid Hamilton fight

Nico Rosberg retired from F1 immediately after claiming the 2016 World Championship, after battling Lewis Hamilton.

The Formula 1 summer break is typically a time for the drivers to relax and forget about the pinnacle of motorsport; however, when the championship fight is close, that can be challenging.

This was exactly the case for Nico Rosberg, who often found himself in the final years of his career in a title fight with Lewis Hamilton.

It was a mentally draining partnership given how hard they pushed one another, to the extent where Rosberg retired moments after becoming World Champion in 2016.

He was often unable to forget about his rivalry with Hamilton during the summer break, as his family often told him to switch to boxing because Hamilton was “walking all over me”.

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It got to the point where Rosberg banned the words “Formula One” in his family, so that he could “really recharge”.

“It’s very valuable to have that summer break, and just really recharge with your family and friends,” Rosberg told Sky Sports.

“Go with family and friends, spend a lot of time, and tell them not to mention the words Formula 1. That’s important, which is often difficult because it carries over into the family.

“I would come home and my father or father-in-law would tell me I should pick up boxing, and the reason was because Lewis was walking all over me the day before the race.

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“So my father-in-law or my father would tell me I should pick up boxing when I come home. I’m like, ‘Do you know how painful that is?’

“Oh my god, it’s like they’re telling me to grow a pair of balls. Like oh my goodness, that’s horrible.

“So it goes all the way into your family. So that’s why it’s like F1 talk ban on the family and just recharge.”

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Rosberg’s decision to retire came moments after he crossed the finish line at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he decided that leaving the sport as World Champion was perfect timing.

“If you ask me, ‘When did you decide to retire?’ That was the moment,” Rosberg told Squaremile.

“I had given it everything. It was a question of do I want to continue to deliver and live in that intensity, and with my dream having come true – I’d fulfilled my goal of being World Champion – it just felt like a great moment to step away and have a new life, with different benefits.”