Last night, between two appointments in his busy schedule, the Sovereign took time to express his surprise at the decision of the race car driver, who grew up and lives in the Principality, to leave motorsport.
To bring his sporting career to a close at the height of glory, Nico Rosberg at only 31 years old has surprised the automobile world in general and all Formula 1 enthusiasts in particular. This is especially the case in Monaco, the country where the 2016 World Champion has grown up and where he still resides. “He is practically a Native Son of the country,” said Prince Albert II, who agreed to offer his thoughts just following the revelation of the decision of the little prince of F1 to return definitively to the stands. In the interview, the Sovereign did not hide his surprise or regret at hearing of the sudden retirement of a young man who represents the Principality so well on F1 tracks worldwide. Nor could he hide his fondness for the talented race driver.
Nico Rosberg’s decision
Nico Rosberghas put an end to his career and abandoned the track: what a surprise!
Yes, indeed, his decision is a little surprising. I thought he still had many great years ahead of him, that he could have had more big seasons in Formula 1. He may have felt that it was better to end on a high note rather than commit to one season too many.
Have you had the opportunity to exchange a few words with him since he wonthe World Championship 2016, last Sunday?
No, I did not have a chance to speak to him. At the beginning of the week, I wrote him to congratulate him on his win, to tell him how happy and proud I was for him and the Principality. Nico Rosberg is practically a Native Son of the country. And I know how much he had his heart set on achieving this goal, which he has had for a long time.
Do you think this sudden decision could have been made on a whim?
You know, Nico Rosberg is an intelligent boy. He must have thought very carefully about his decision. Now, I hope he will continue on his path in another way, undertake other activities, and pursue other objectives. In any case, I wish him the best.
It is no secret that you have a special fondness for this F1 champion.
Yes. He lives in Monaco and has spent a lot of time in the Principality. Here, everyone appreciates him. He has great qualities. Nico Rosberg is a good guy.
Are you planning to organise a party in Monaco to celebrate hisWorld Championship title and, at the same time, his retirement?
In the brief word I sent him, I expressed my wish to celebrate his title in Monaco together, in public or in private. We will give it some thought.
Nicola Rosberg has fulfilled the dream he had set himself in winning the ultimate title and has decided to officially let go of the steering wheel of his Silver Arrow.
What a week it has been! While he was believed to be on his last lap following the dramatic end of the 2016 season at the Abu Dhabi track, the F1 royal decided to play the extra time. At full speed. Less than 24 hours after the explosion caused by the announcement of the return of the French Grand Prix to the Paul Ricard track in 2018, another bombshell shook the reigning royalty of motor sport.
Nico Rosberg is hanging up his hat! Unbelievable but true: shelved in recent years by Lewis Hamilton, this number 1 racer will not return to the track in 2017. “I am on the peak of the mountain and the ascent was very hard, so I feel this is the moment,” said the 31-year-old German driver in a message posted to social networks. The first world champion to stop the day after his enshrinement since Alain Prost in 1993, this native of Wiesbaden living in Monaco since early childhood took some time for reflection before deciding.
“At the Japan GP (October 9), I began to consider abandoning the race if I became champion,” he said. “On Sunday morning, in Abu Dhabi, I knew this could be ‘it’. Suddenly, everything was clear before the departure. I wanted to savour every second. And Monday night, I decided to take the plunge. For 25 years, my only dream was to become world champion. I have achieved it. ”
Here is someone who is casting aside a freshly signed contract extension to follow in the footsteps of Jenson Button and Felipe Massa towards the exit sign, to everyone’s general amazement. Or almost everyone. “What more could he wish for?” said Patrick Tambay, a former rival of a certain KekeRosberg, the model father, crowned in 1982. “To try to get as many victories as Lewis Hamilton? Impossible! If he feels he has achieved all his goals, then I say OK and congratulations. To stop when you’reat the top, I think that takes courage!”
Farewell, enemy brothers!
Now what? While Nico of Monaco savours the joys of parenthood with his wife Vivian and Alaia, his daughter born last year, who will be the next to stand beside the dethroned King Lewis? There is no doubt that the empty seat of the Silver Arrow is enticing to many. For example, there’s the German Pascal Wehrlein (22 years old), a budding youngster fresh from the Mercedes nursery who must surely be dreaming of this chance. One thing is certain: today Hamilton has lost his dear “enemy brother”. Their epic sparring, both on the track and behind the scenes, is already missed. Still, Nico Rosberg is most certainly retiring on a high note and his impressive career will always be remembered fondly in Monaco.