Former world champion Nico Rosberg has made an eye-catching revelation on why he decided to leave the sport after the end of a breathtaking 2016 season.
The German had sent the world of motorsport into a frenzy by beating teammate Lewis Hamilton in the same machinery to win his maiden world championship.
The moment he put his hand on the winner’s trophy, he announced his decision to retire from the sport.
It was on the back of an intense rivalry with Lewis Hamilton, who many had believed to be insurmountable in the era of Mercedes supremacy.
While they had been friends since their childhood, the entire foundation of that relationship was tested to the hilt and suffice it to say that they still maintain extremely limited interaction.
Rosberg has finally disclosed why he felt the time was right for him to end his stint in the sport.
He attributed a number of reasons that were making life a far more difficult mental and physical battle than he fancied.
Speaking to Men’s Health magazine, he said: “I was afraid that at some point I wouldn’t be good enough and that no team would want me anymore. I wanted to decide [on an exit] for myself.”
Rosberg alluded to ‘giving up his identity’ in the hunt for sporting glory.
“In a way, I gave up my identity. Everything in my life was racing: my mechanics, my engineers, my team-mates, even my social environment,” he said.
“To put all that to zero in one fell swoop was a shock to my system. I had never asked myself what other passions I had. There was always just the next race.”
While the former German driver caught everyone by surprise when he bowed out from the world of motorsport, he has since built a strong career for himself away from outright racing.
Rosberg is a regular on Sky’s F1 coverage and he owns a team in the Formula E series, thereby establishing himself as an astute businessman.
Apart from this, he has produced a number of videos for his Youtube channel.
While any talk of him adding to his single world championship is purely conjecture, it does still tend to make you wonder if it would’ve changed Hamilton’s career trajectory.
While Mercedes was clearly the best car going around even after Rosberg left, Hamilton benefited greatly with reduced pressure from wingman Valtteri Bottas for half a decade to come.