Nico Rosberg is a former German-Finnish Formula One race car driver known as one of the best two best players in the sport alongside Lewis Hamilton. Nico entered the professional Formula One arena in 2006, with the team Williams, a team with which his father Keke Rosberg had been a World Champion back in 1982. In the initial phases of his career, Nico performed well, but didn’t win too many titles, but when he joined the newly reformed Team Mercedes in 2010, his career blossomed. In his successful career run with Mercedes, Nico has managed to score 23 Grand Prix and 30 pole positions. He and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, dominated the Formula One arena and were constantly in the race to become the World Champions throughout the 2014-15 season, with Hamilton winning both times. In 2016 though, Nico became the World Champion and Hamilton ended the season with second spot. Surprisingly though, at the very prime of his Formula One career just after securing the World Championship, Nico announced his retirement from the sport, adding that he is going to continue his association with his team Mercedes.
Childhood & Early Life
Nico Rosberg was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany, on 27th June 1985, in a prolific Formula One family. His father Keke Rosberg has been a F1 World Champion in 1982. Despite being Keke’s son, Rico was a severely under-confident kid and didn’t believe that he could be as great a racer as his father. Although his interest in the sport was apparent since a very young age, he was never sure about his career path during most of his teenage.
At the age of 6, he was introduced to the world of Karting and he immediately got hooked. His parents didn’t wish him to sabotage his studies in the the pursuit of becoming an F1 racer, so he studied hard and was known to be a quick learner in mid and high school. He could speak German, French, Italian, Spanish and English fluently in school and all the teachers were in awe of him.
At the age of 10, Nico began with Kart racing tournaments and with the right guidance from his father, he slowly championed it. He admits joyfully that he used to compete with his father and whenever his father beat him in tennis, he would cry. This spirit encouraged him to try harder and surpass his father. His father became his manager, which helped Nico greatly in his later professional career.
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Nico started his big leagues Formula One career with Williams in the 2006 season in a race in Bahrain. Although, he was signed on as a test driver, he performed well enough to impress the staff at Williams. Apart from that, the entire season went bad for his team and him. The next season was somewhat better, and Nico finished many races to stand at either sixth or seventh spot in most of season’s Grand Prix’.
At the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, Nico surprised everyone with his impressive performance and ended up on the third spot. One other big moment came in the Singapore Grand Prix that year, where he led the race for some time, before finishing it on the second position. The next year was good as well; Nico went on to enter the top 5 positions in Hungarian and European Grand Prix’. However, after the 2009 season, Nico bid goodbye to Williams stating the reason that their resources aren’t efficient enough to win races, and signed a contract with Mercedes.
Nico started with Mercedes with a race in Malaysia in the 2010 season, where he finished third but he struggled to perform in most of the Grand Prix races that year. But his luck took a drastic turn in the 2012, when Nico scored his first career win in the Chinese Grand Prix, and became the first German driver to win a Grand Prix while driving a German car, a feat which wasn’t achieved in more than 8 decades.
In the 2013 season, Nico finished fourth at the Malaysian Grand Prix and went on to win the British Grand Prix, defeating his teammate Lewis Hamilton in a close encounter. He went on to earn the second position in India and third in Abu Dhabi. Somehow, his team favoured Hamilton and directed Nico not to overtake Hamilton in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which snatched a seemingly possible victory from his clutches.
At the beginning of the 2014 season, Nico emerged first at the Australian Grand Prix and subsequently in the following races of the season; he finished second, mostly behind his teammate Hamilton. Constant technical issues followed him in many of the races, which resulted into disappointment. Although he secured a victory in Brazil, he remained second to Hamilton in points tally at the end of the season, losing the world championship. Later in an interview, he praised Hamilton and said that Lewis Hamilton did a better job than him.
Before achieving a win in Spanish Grand Prix in 2015, Nico remained behind Hamilton in most of the races that season and went on to achieve his 10th career win at Monaco. He later scored wins in Canada and Austria and finished second to Hamilton at the British Grand Prix. At Brazil, Abu Dhabi and Mexico, Nico snatched first spot from Hamilton, but despite that, he lost the championship to him. He had a minor controversy that year which involved him and Hamilton. Apparently, Hamilton threw his hat at him and in response Nico threw it back at him, causing a media stir about the burning rivalry between the team mates.
The 2016 season started off good for Nico; he won Australia and Bahrain Grand Prix and later, the victories in China and Russia made him only the second racer after Michael Schumacher to win the first four races in a season. Mercedes was frequently benefiting from having two best racers in the world and the rivalry between the two continued till rest of the season with Hamilton and Nico constantly finishing the races in either the first or second spots. A win in Japan led Nico to move ahead of Hamilton in the championship point tally and the second spot he earned at the race in Abu Dhabi finally made him the World Champion, with Hamilton just trailing behind on the second spot.
At a prize ceremony in Vienna on 2nd December 2016, Nico Rosberg shocked the fans with the announcement of his retirement from the game. The most surprising thing was that he made the statement right after reaching the top spot in his career which he struggled to achieve since his first ever season. However, his decision was welcomed by Mercedes when he decided to stay with the team as an ambassador.
Over the course of his career, Nico has won several awards, such as Lorenzo Bandini Trophy, DHL Fastest Lap Award and FIA pole trophy among many others.
Nico Rosberg married his childhood friend Vivian Sibold, after being engaged to her for many years. She was a family friend and the couple tied the knot in July 2014 and welcomed a baby girl into the family in August 2015. Vivian has said that Nico was always a family man and felt guilty about not being able to spend enough time with them. So, in a way, it can be said that his retirement resulted from a desire to spend more time with his family.
Nico also said that the decision to take permanent retirement wasn’t easy, he talked with his wife openly about that and finally reached the decision of taking retirement after giving it a hard thinking.