Former world champion Nico Rosberg has addressed his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton during his racing days.
Rosberg was teammates with Hamilton at Mercedes for three seasons, and those three seasons presented an epic rivalry between the two drivers. Hamilton reigned supreme in the first two years, beating Rosberg to the WDC. However, 2016 saw the German pip his teammate to the summit, after which he announced his shock retirement from F1.
Rosberg spoke to The Times recently, and looked back on the decision to call it quits. He talked about why he did it, and assured he is fully content with the decision.
“I wanted to avoid being a driver from the past or a driver that nobody wants in his team anymore,” Rosberg said.
“There was a hundred million dollars on the table, which I turned down. I wanted a different life, you don’t have a flexible life when you race. It was the best decision for my family, I didn’t think about the money for a second.
Hero and villain
Rosberg also addressed his rivalry with Hamilton, and how the former best friends have completely drifted apart. He talked about how the rivalry panned out between the fans of the sport, and how he perceived it to be.
“There were two sides: one was Nico’s side and one was Lewis’ side,” Rosberg said.
“All Lewis fans were against me, that’s for sure. One time I saw two four-year-old girls with their parents and they booed me and gave me the thumbs down. The parents told them I was the bad guy and they should boo me.”
Rosberg and Hamilton have no relationship even today, and have made no attempt to reconcile. However, the two ex-Mercedes teammates will go down in history, and Rosberg especially for being the first driver in the history of the hybrid era to beat Hamilton and win the WDC.