Nico Rosberg: Formula 1 world champion on Valtteri Bottas & retirement

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
I do not miss F1 - Rosberg

World champion Nico Rosberg says he is not missing Formula 1, as he makes his first appearance at a grand prix since his retirement last year.

The German quit in 2016, five days after winning the title for Mercedes, and said he now follows F1 "as a fan" and has no desire to get back in a car.

"I am completely fulfilled," he said in an exclusive BBC Sport interview.

"It is a page that has turned for me. It was the perfect ending for me, the perfect career."

Rosberg, 31, won nine of last season's 21 grands prix, beating three-time champion and team-mate Lewis Hamilton by five points.

The son of Finnish 1982 world champion Keke, he made his F1 debut for Williams at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006, finishing seventh.

Overall, Rosberg raced in 206 grands prix, winning 23 and finishing on the podium 57 times.

"It is fun to watch the action and F1 is as good as it has ever been this year," he said. "Although it is 12 years since I last watched it on TV.

"It is really exciting to watch as an outsider. There is so much going on, you never know who is going to win and it is exciting for all the fans out there."

'You can't replace experience in a couple of days'

Valtteri Bottas
Finnish driver Bottas won the Russian Grand Prix in April, whereas Hamiliton took victory in China and Spain

Rosberg was replaced at Mercedes by Valtteri Bottas, who is lying third in the championship heading into Monaco this weekend.

The Finn is 41 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who is six points clear of Hamilton.

Rosberg says that, while Bottas is "doing a great job", he thinks Mercedes might be missing his experience when it came to setting up the car.

"I was there from day one," he said, referring to his joining Mercedes when the company bought the Brawn team at the end of 2009.

"I knew how everybody worked and I knew how to set up the car and that is not something you can replace in a couple of days.

"They have found a very good replacement. But it is going to take him a bit longer in terms of experience to have a big impact on car set-up and development."

Rosberg said it was "too early to write off" Bottas' hopes of the title but said it would "most likely" be disputed by Vettel and Hamilton.

Vettel set an impressive pace in second practice in Monaco on Thursday, with Hamilton ending the session eighth.

"My hopes are it goes to the wire," Rosberg said. "That's what all of us fans want to see. Then, of course, I would hope my ex-racing family take it home."

'The autonomous car will change the world'

Nico Rosberg and his wife Vivian Sibold
Rosberg married long-time partner Vivian Sibold in 2014 before the couple had their first child, Alaia.

Rosberg, whose wife Vivian is expecting their second child, said he was enjoying his new life and working out what he was going to do next.

He refused to go into detail, but said he was enthused by developments in road-car technology.

"I have always been a fan of road cars," he said. "In that industry there is going to be the biggest revolution in 100 years, going towards electric and autonomous cars.

"Innovation and engineering has always been a passion of mine and a lot of things are pushing me in that direction. But it is too early to speak in more detail.

"The autonomous car has the potential to save up to a million lives a year, because that is how many people are dying on the roads. It will change the world."


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories