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Just days after winning this year’s Formula 1 world championship, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has announced his shock retirement from the sport.
“For me, it is a very special day to receive the trophy. This evening is going to be amazing but for another reason: I want to take the opportunity to announce the end of my F1 career,” Rosberg said at the FIA world champions gala in Vienna, according to Motor1.
“Since I was six years old, I had a clear dream; that was to become F1 world champion and it was very clear in my mind, whatever I could think, I have achieved it. I will remember forever.
“I have achieved this childhood dream now, so I’m not willing to do more commitment. I don’t want to do it again. I have decided to follow my heart. I want to call it a day and go on to other things and it feels right to me,” he said.
The 31-year-old finished second in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, allowing him to clinch the driver’s title from teammate Lewis Hamilton.
So, who will replace the German at Mercedes? Well, team boss Toto Wolff says Mercedes will “evaluate” its options.
“This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character,” Wolff said.
“He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as world champion, having achieved his childhood dream. The clarity of his judgment meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me. For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one.
“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.”