Announced Decision to Leave Mercedes in 2016 Out of Respect for Toto Wolff: Nico Rosberg

Published 05/16/2021, 10:38 AM EDT


What followed in December after Nico Rosberg won the 2016 world championship shocked the world. The former Mercedes driver announced his retirement at the award ceremony in Vienna.

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While Rosberg had retirement on his mind then, he recently revealed that the timing of the announcement wasn’t right. The German why he made his decision at the ceremony and the actual time he wanted to make it.

Nico Rosberg admits he made his decision for Toto Wolff

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Nico Rosberg announced his retirement on 2 December 2016. In a recent interview, he admitted to making the announcement on that day for the current Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff.

 

The 35-year old said“I only did it for Toto and for the team, very simple.” (Quotes translated from German by Google)

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Mexican F1 Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, November 1, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Rosberg understood that his retirement would mean a spot being open in Mercedes. The team would need time to react to his announcement and find a suitable replacement for the German’s seat.

Eventually, Mercedes confirmed Valtteri Bottas as Rosberg’s replacement at the team, which has been an excellent choice so far.

Rosberg wanted to make the announcement in January

Although the German announced his retirement in December, he initially had other ideas. While he thought about his retirement through the last stages of the 2016 season, he wanted to announce the news in January 2017.

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Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (left) shakes hands with Lewis Hamilton as he celebrates winning the Formula One world championship during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

The German said, “I would have loved to have celebrated the world championship title for another month and then at some point said: ‘I’m going to quit!’

“If it had been up to me, I would have done it in January. Another month of celebrating as World champion, and then Christmas and all that, and then sometime in January say, ‘I’m going to quit.’ “

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While Rosberg may go down as a world champion who didn’t defend his title, he’ll go down as one of the very few who beat Lewis Hamilton to a world title. And that’s quite an achievement to end a 10-year career on.

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Sanket Nair

143 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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