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Was Nico Rosberg right to retire after winning the 2016 WDC?

Nico Rosberg shocked the F1 world when he announced his retirement at the end of 2016, but was it the right thing to do?

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Whenever the 2016 F1 season is mentioned F1 fans minds only ever turn to the season long title fight between intense rivals and teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg clinched the title at the last race of the season, being the only person other than LH to win a title in the turbo-hybrid era. Following this victory, he announced his retirement just a few days later. Was this the right thing to do? Lets take a look:

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were best friends throughout junior series, and throughout the early stages of their F1 career, but a series of intense championship battles saw them become rivals, rather than friends during their time at Mercedes. The pair enjoyed several close battles such as Bahrain 2014, and also had their fair share of controversy (Spain 2016 anyone?).

The pairs changing relationship across their career is perhaps best shown through the two photos below, both from the cool-down room. The first being when the pair were mates, and not battling each other, the second when they were locked in an intense fight in 2015. All F1 fans know the video that goes with these two photos.


Nico has admitted himself, Lewis is the toughest component he’s ever faced, and it took total dedication to beat him. In a recent Notebook, Ted Kravitz said he even slept in a different room to his wife to focus on F1! Given no-one else was able to do it, it seems this is what is needed to beat Lewis, a total change of life.

Rosberg knew he could not live the next few years of his life under the pressure and stress of an F1 championship contender. He would never top the moment of winning an F1 WDC, so he retired, at the top.

I personally feel it was the correct decision for Nico. He knew the risks F1 drivers took, and he more than anyone made sacrifices to achieve his dream. That dream was achieved in 2016, so what more did he need to do? Sure he might have won more titles in the future, but was this worth the risk and sacrifices? In my view, no.

Nico knew his mental health was being affected by this battle with Lewis, and he rightfully knew he had to put this first. The two have become good friends again since Nico retired, showing it was all down the the battles that their friendship fractured.

Nico achieved all he wanted in F1, and left to put his family first. You can’t blame him for doing that.

Do you think Nico could have won more titles had he have raced on? Let us know in the comments on Formulanerds social media!



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