ROSBERG: SEVEN OF THE BEST
Matt James reflects on some of the landmarks in Nico Rosberg’s career
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.
Australia (Melbourne) China (Shanghai) Bahrain (Sakhir) Russia (Sochi) Spain (Barcelona) Monaco (Monte Carlo) Canada (Montreal) Azerbaijan (Baku) Austria (Spielberg)