Nico Rosberg admits he stopped racing after winning his Formula 1 world title out of fear. The German feared that he would no longer be able to have the speed he showed in 2016, and so decided to hang up his helmet. That created a new fear of the unknown, but he has now found his niche.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Rosberg is candid about the choice to retire after winning his first and therefore only world title in Formula 1. “I was afraid that if I had continued, I would not be fast enough. And that at some point there would be no team left that would want me. Rather stop too early than too late, I wanted to be able to decide for myself’, he explains his train of thought.
Fear of gap after career
Shortly after winning his world title in 2016, the German announced that he would stop racing in the premier class and therefore close the door at Mercedes behind him. That was not easy, because afterwards he ended up in a big hole and had to discover new things. “Racing was what I had always done, who I was. So in a way I gave up my whole identity by quitting.’
“I always lived from one race to the next and never wondered what else my passions were,” said the former Mercedes driver, who has now completely rediscovered himself. With new challenges he has found his spirit again and enjoys building something from the bottom up. ‘As a world champion and driver I was at the top, in new projects you start at the bottom. That is interesting and instructive.’