Rosberg announces retirement from Formula 1

Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has announced his immediate retirement from racing, only five days after taking his first world title.

The 31-year-old Mercedes driver made the announcement during a press conference ahead of tonight's FIA Prize Giving Gala in Vienna. He is the first driver to retire as reigning world champion since Alain Prost in 1993.
Nico Rosberg announces his retirement
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Nico Rosberg announces his retirement

A statement was later shared on his Facebook page, giving further detail.

"Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my 'one thing' to become Formula One World Champion," the German racer wrote.

"Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I've made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right.

"My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen."

Rosberg, who is the son of Keke, Finland's first Formula 1 World Champion, finished second to teammate Lewis Hamilton in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

However, combined with his nine wins of this season's 21 races, Rosberg gained a total of 385 points. This saw him surpass three-time World Champion Hamilton by five points to take the World Championship.

The news of his retirement has left the Formula 1 world shocked, as Rosberg joins the likes of Jenson Button and Felipe Massa in leaving the sport at the end of this season.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff released a statement saying: "This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character. He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as World Champion, having achieved his childhood dream."

Since making his debut in 2006, Rosberg competed in 206 Grand Prix, winning 23. This impressive record was enough to place him 12th on the Grand Prix Victory list, joint with Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet.

Concluding his statement, Rosberg wrote: "Now, I'm just here to enjoy the moment. There is time to savour the next weeks, to reflect on the season and to enjoy every experience that comes my way. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life and see what it has in store for me..."

However, the future for his former team seems far less certain.

"For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one," said Wolff.

"We are going into a new era of technical regulations and there is a free Mercedes cockpit for the seasons ahead. We will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and then find the right path for our future."
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