Blockbuster Ferrari Deal Wouldn’t Have Tempted Me Into F1 Return: Nico Rosberg

Published 05/21/2021, 3:49 PM EDT
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany speaks with journalists before Mexican F1 Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


Nico Rosberg hung up his boots as an F1 driver when he was just 30 years old. It’s bewitching to think that the likes of Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and even his most bitter rival, Lewis Hamilton are all older than him. Since he retired all the way back in 2016, it’s easy to think that a return could have been tempting to him. What about a mammoth offer from a prestigious team like Ferrari?

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Surely, a 50 million euro salary package would be enough motivation for him to get behind the cockpit again? It would be for 90% of drivers, but Nico isn’t one of the herd.

“Salary never played a role for me. I still had a two-year contract, which also had a lot of zeros on it,” Rosberg replied to this hypothetical offer in an exclusive interview with Formel1. (quotes translated from German using Google)

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

He added, “You can’t move me with money. I’m not interested in that. I fulfilled my career as I wanted it to be, with the world title, and I’m happy about my next life. So the thought never came up, and it never will. It’s over.”

Rosberg shocked the F1 community after retiring on December 2, 2016, in Vienna. It was especially surprising since it came mere days after he sealed his maiden F1 title; he finally was able to overpower his childhood friend-turned foe, Lewis Hamilton.

Was Nico Rosberg to Ferrari actually realistic?

The German’s contractual obligation bound him to Mercedes until at least the end of the 2018 season. Hence, he was only free to listen to offers from other teams like Ferrari from the 2019 season onwards. But would they have made a move for him?

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At that point of time, they were looking for a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen. And they promoted their academy driver, Charles Leclerc. We don’t really think Rosberg would have pipped him as the partner for Vettel.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – APRIL 10: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP speaks with Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 10, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Though, even from a personal point of view, Rosberg may not have returned to F1 “because I closed it completely.” Clearly, he moved on well as his business ventures and sustainability projects are doing so well, right now. Long may that continue.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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