2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has admitted to occasionally feeling scared while racing, and that he doesn’t regret his decision to walk away from the sport.
Nico Rosberg won the 2016 World Championship after a tense year-long battle with his Mercedes AMG teammate Lewis Hamilton. Wrapping up the title at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg announced his retirement two days later and left behind his decade-long F1 career at the pinnacle of the sport.
Since then, Rosberg has become involved in green energy initiatives and has become an investor within the Formula E series. He also has plans to bring a new ‘green’ festival to Berlin as part of the ePrix weekend.
Speaking on German TV station ZDF, Rosberg says that he has no regrets over his decision to drop it all the instant he achieved his goal: “I have to confess, there are moments when I’m watching and I think, ‘It’s good I’m not in that car”.
Citing the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku as an example of the kind of racing that scared him, he said: “In Baku for example – when they race through the streets of a city at a speed of 360kph, millimetres away from a wall.
“Unlike the other drivers, I am not a real daredevil, yes, there are moments when I was scared.”
His decision to quit to concentrate on his family and his other interests has since been vindicated as things have prospered off track for him, but Rosberg says he wasn’t so sure in the immediate aftermath of his bombshell:
“Back then, when I decided to leave the sport, I had no idea what it would feel like in two or three months or a year. It was a complete stop – something fundamental in my life was suddenly gone.
“Luckily I had my family and other passions. I quickly found a new way for me. It was the best decision. I don’t miss it at all, and for me that’s a big thing.”