Breaking: 2016 Champion Nico Rosberg Retires From Formula 1

Nico Rosberg 10 photos
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This doesn't happen very often in F1 and motorsport in general, so when it does every jaw in the room is expected to drop to the floor.
It's probably what happened today to Formula 1 fans around the world after 2016 Champion Nico Rosberg announced that he will stop racing in F1 with immediate effect.

Apparently, even Mercedes-Benz was taken by surprise by Nico's shock announcement, especially since the German had signed a two-year contract extension for the 2017 and 2018 F1 seasons back in the summer.

His decision was apparently taken just one day after his crowning achievement in Abu Dhabi, last Sunday when he became the first German driver to win an F1 World Championship at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG F1 car.

"I took my decision on Monday evening. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were Vivian and Georg (Nolte, from Nico’s management team), followed by Toto." Rosberg said in a Facebook post.

Nico made the public announcement just before the 2016 FIA Prize Giving in Vienna, Austria, being backed in his decision by none other than the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff.

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. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me.” said Toto Wolff.

The announcement most definitely dropped like a bomb in the Mercedes-AMG F1 team, which now has an open cockpit just as Formula 1 enters a new era of regulations starting with 2017.

Nico Rosberg has raced in 206 Grand Prix, winning 23 races, scoring 30 pole positions and 20 fastest laps. His biggest achievement remains the 2016 World Championship.

There are a lot of rumors revolving his potential replacement, but it is probably too early to bet on a single driver. Mercedes-backed and former DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein has the biggest chances, but there were also rumors that suggested Fernando Alonso was also courted by the three-pointed star.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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