Nico Rosberg celebrating a win at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Photo courtesy Reuters/Hamad Mohammed
Less than a week after earning the 2016 Formula One world championship for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement from professional racing.
The news comes today, on the day he is to receive the trophy for his championship win, secured by a podium finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 27.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Rosberg -- unsurprisingly -- said winning the F1 championship has been his dream and his "one thing" in 25 years of racing and that it felt right to quit while he was ahead, so to speak.
Rosberg's teammate and oft-rival Lewis Hamilton -- who has taken the championship in the last two years -- said he was one of few not surprised by Rosberg's news, "because I've known him for a long time," he told Autosport.com.
Lewis was quick to point out Sunday's win marked the first time Rosberg had beaten him for a championship in the 18 years the two have raced against one another, driving for the same team or otherwise.
In winning the championship, Rosberg follows his father, Keke's, racing line: he won the title in 1982, driving for Williams.
Mercedes has yet to announce Rosberg's successor; Benz Motorsport head Toto Wolff said the team "will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and find the right path for our future."
Naturally, rumours are running rampant. Mercedes' own Pascal Wehrlein is thought to be a strong contender for Rosberg's seat, and there is speculation that Mercedes could lure Fernando Alonso away from McLaren Honda.Rosberg quits while he's ahead (of Hamilton) 12/2/2016 4:11:13 PM 12/2/2016 4:11:13 PM