This is the last comment I’ll make on the 2016 Formula 1 season. In here I want to quickly discuss the retirement of current world champion, Nico Rosberg.
Just 5 days after winning his first F1 world championship Nico Rosberg called it quits on his racing career. Not only did this come as a surprise to his team, Mercedes, who had assumed he would see out the two year contract he signed in July 2016 but it also shocked many fans.
The response from fans and the media ranged from the illogical ‘I knew Mercedes fixed this year’s result, this is proof!’, to the Hamilton pro ‘Rosberg knew he fluked it, he’s scared and doesn’t have the heart to be a true champion’, to the surprised ‘umm you sure you thought this through, real life is not that interesting’, to the polite ‘great champ, enjoy the family time’ and the supportive ‘brave and understandable’.
But how about the man himself? What did he have to say? Rosberg announced his retirement over social media to his fans with a quick video blog (see below). In it he made the point that he’s been racing 25 years, he had a goal to be world champion, he’s achieved that and it was not easy to achieve. Following this, he pretty honestly said I do not want to go through the difficulties I went through this year to win again and so will stop racing. And finally said that he was listening to his heart and it feels right.
I am towards the brave and understandable camp (for those who know me it may be a bit of a surprise since I am a BIG Hamilton fan and have spent a lot of energy not liking Rosberg).. Why brave and understandable? His decision is simple and honest.
Sometimes you can over analyse a situation. For example we could talk at length about what Rosberg is giving up by retiring (reportedly £34million in income for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, not to mention other benefits such as sponsorship, lifestyle and the driving). And then we could acknowledge the costs (again the lifestyle, the risks, the stress, etc.) and still be confused.
Rosberg keeps it clear and simple. He’s done the cost-benefit in his head. The upside is small (he’s already achieved what he set out to do) and the costs are high (he feels he would have to repeat a difficult year again). Why struggle for not much benefit? He’s also honest he does not want to be multiple world champion, he has spent a long time racing and he suggests he wants to do other things with his life.
Hats off to you Nico, we have not always got along but this year I’ve had no choice but to pay you due respect. Looking forward to the 2017 season VVRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!