ROS­BERG: SEVEN OF THE BEST

Matt James re­flects on some of the land­marks in Nico Ros­berg’s ca­reer

Motor Sport News - - Insight: Rosberg Retires -

Nico Ros­berg’s de­ci­sion to quit F1 as world cham­pion sent shock­waves through the sport. Back in the sum­mer, he had signed a two-year deal to re­main with the dom­i­nant Mercedes team as part­ner to Lewis Hamil­ton. The ‘Sil­ver­wash’ was set to con­tinue.

How­ever, he changed his mind as the ti­tle be­came a re­al­ity and he de­cided to walk away with the cham­pi­onship in his back pocket.

Af­ter a tooth-and-nail fight with Hamil­ton this sea­son, the Ger­man pre­vailed by five points af­ter a high­pres­sure Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

He has said that he wants to go and en­joy his life and his fam­ily. He has closed the F1 chap­ter, and will be­come the first cham­pion not to de­fend his ti­tle since Alain Prost in 1994.

Here, we look back at some of his great­est mo­ments in his grand prix rac­ing ca­reer. When: March 12, 2006 Where: Sakhir, Bahrain What: A new star is born In his first F1 race, the GP2 cham­pion hus­tled his Wil­liamsCos­worth to a re­spectable 12th on the grid but the race was even bet­ter as he hunted down the Red Bull of Chris­tian Klien over the clos­ing laps and put a move on him to claim seventh place. He had also set the fastest lap of the race in the process, and that made him the youngest driver to do so in the his­tory of F1 (a record that would later be eclipsed by Max Ver­stap­pen). He earned two points on his de­but.

The per­for­mance was so strong that it caught the at­ten­tion of three-time world cham­pion Jackie Ste­wart, who said: “I think it’s the best per­for­mance of any young driver that I’ve seen for a very long time. I can’t re­mem­ber a per­for­mance in a first grand prix that was so im­pres­sive.

“I had a sixth in my first grand prix but he came from the back and I cer­tainly didn’t get fastest lap. His judge­ment, the man­ner in which he went about it... it’s a rare com­mod­ity to­day but as a rac­ing driver he knows how to pass and car­ries it out.”

April 15, 2012 Shang­hai, China The maiden vic­tory Noth­ing could stand in the way of Nico Ros­berg in China in 2012 – al­though it would be the only high­point of the Sil­ver Ar­rows’ oth­er­wise tough sea­son.

The Ger­man planted his car on pole po­si­tion, the first one of his ca­reer, and dom­i­nated the race ahead of the Mclarens of Lewis Hamil­ton and Jen­son But­ton. Ros­berg was more than 20s to the good by the end of the 56 laps.

“It’s an un­be­liev­able feel­ing: very, very cool. I”m very happy, very ex­cited,” said the win­ner. “It’s been a long time com­ing for me, and for the team as well over the past two years and a bit. It’s fi­nally here. It’s just amaz­ing and it’s just nice to see how quickly we are now pro­gress­ing. I didn’t ex­pect to be that fast.”

It also marked Mercedes’ first win in the world cham­pi­onship since 1955. It meant Ros­berg fi­nally broke his duck af­ter 111 races.

TRACK

Aus­tralia (Mel­bourne) China (Shang­hai) Bahrain (Sakhir) Rus­sia (Sochi) Spain (Barcelona) Monaco (Monte Carlo) Canada (Mon­treal) Azer­bai­jan (Baku) Aus­tria (Spiel­berg)

Points, and lots of hair, on de­but

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