Once he was considered as one of Germany’s hottest racing prospects. Later he was considered an overrated driver but Nico Rosberg in 2016 finally confirmed that he is the world-class driver. He won the Formula 1 championship title, doing what his father Keke Rosberg did in 1982.
Shortly after winning the F1 championship trophy, Nico surprised the world by announcing the retirement from racing. Nico Rosberg spent eleven seasons in Formula One, driving for Williams and Mercedes, scoring 23 victories and 57 podiums. Before making a debut in Formula 1 in 2006, Rosberg was the 2005 GP2 Series champion.
The son of a famous father
Nico Erik Rosberg was born in June 1985 in Wiesbaden, as a son of Finnish racing driver and F1 champion Keke Rosberg and his German wife Sina. Nico holds dual nationality, he even competed under Finnish flag early in a career, but for the most of his career he drove for Germany.
Having a so famous father, it wasn't surprising when Nico early entered into the racing world. He began in karting and later moved to the German Formula BMW ADAC. In 2002, Rosberg won the title in great style and immediately moved up to Formula 3 Euro Series. As a member of Team Rosberg, Nico scored one win and five top 3 finishes but at the end of the season, he was only the 8th. The following season was better. Nico won three races and moved up to the 4th overall.
Nico Rosberg was the inaugural GP2 Series champion
In 2005, in the newly formed GP2 Series, Nico Rosberg became the driver of ART Grand Prix, one of the top French sides, and surprised many with excellent driving. He won five races and had other seven podium finishes, what was enough to be crowned as the series champion, beating the likes of Heikki Kovalainen, Jose Maria Lopez, Scott Speed, etc.
That success helped him a lot to be promoted to a place of Williams F1 Team in 2006. He was acting as the team’s test driver in the previous year and impressed everybody in Williams with his driving and attitude.
Solid Formula 1 results with Williams
Nico’s rookie season in F1 wasn’t a glorious one, but driving a relatively uncompetitive car, he managed to collect four points, finishing 7th at Bahrain circuit and at Nurburgring. In 2007, Williams switched to Toyota engines which were far better than the Cosworth’s one. Rosberg’s progress was evident after he finished in the points zone in 7 out of 17 races. His best result was 4th place in the final race of the year in Brazil while in the Drivers’ championship he was 9th with 20 points.
The start of 2008 season was very good. Rosberg finished 3rd in the opening Grand Prix in Australia, later scored points in Bahrain and Turkey, but later struggled, failing to win points in eight races during the mid-season. However, Nico had another podium finish before the end of the year. He was leading in the Singapore Grand Prix but eventually finished second, behind Fernando Alonso. With 17 points on his account, Rosberg finished the season at 13th place.
Departure from Williams to Mercedes
In 2009 Rosberg established himself as the reliable driver who can score points on regular basis. He hasn’t achieved any podium but earned points in 11 out of 17 races, especially being in stable form in the middle of the season when he scored in eight Grand Prix races in a row. The best results were 4th places in Germany and Hungary while in the Drivers’ championship he moved up to 7th position.
Before the end of 2009 campaign, Rosberg announced that he will leave Williams and soon after he confirmed that will drive for the newly formed Mercedes team in 2010. The German team was ambitious but still not competitive enough. However, Rosberg had a pretty good season, achieving three podiums, finishing 3rd in Malaysia, China, and Great Britain. Nico didn’t score points in only four out of 19 races that year and repeated the result from the previous year, finishing 7th overall.
Picking up the experience from Schumacher
For the third consecutive time, Rosberg was 7th in the Formula 1 Drivers’ championship in 2011 but just like in the previous year, he was ahead of his teammate and former world champion Michael Schumacher.
Anyway, Rosberg could not be happy with his results. His best result was 5th place in China and Turkey. Mercedes wasn’t fast enough comparing to Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren but it was obvious that the ’Silver arrows’ and Rosberg are progressing.
Nico Rosberg scored his first win in China
That was confirmed in 2012 when Nico won the Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time. The German triumphed in China after disappointing performances in the opening two races of the season. Nico also became the first driver to win a Grand Prix during the life of their father who also achieved a Grand Prix victory in Formula 1. Soon after he was 2nd in the Monaco Grand Prix, but the last third of the season proved to be very bad. He couldn’t earn points in the last six races so he finished only at the 9th place overall.
Beginning of the new era
In 2013 Mercedes decided to pair Rosberg with Lewis Hamilton and over the years their rivalry became one of the greatest in the sports. The two know each other very well as they drove together in their karting days. Nico did better than in the previous season. He won two races, in Monaco and at Silverstone, finished 2nd in India and 3rd in Abu Dhabi, but still was far from the top of the standings as he was 6th in the final standings.
Rivalry with Lewis Hamilton
The year of 2014 was the beginning of Mercedes supremacy in Formula 1, but Rosberg was a bit frustrated despite he achieved his best result, finishing the season as a vice-champion. The start of the year was excellent for the German driver. He won the races in Australia, Monaco, and Austria, while in five races he was 2nd. Until the end of the year, he scored another two wins, in Germany and Brazil and was 2nd in another five Grand Prix races, but that wasn’t enough for the title after his teammate Hamilton collected 67 points more.
The following year was almost the same. Nico Rosberg won six races, had other nine podiums but was 59 points short comparing to Hamilton who defended his title. Many were thinking that Rosberg lacks mentality to become the No.1 and that he needs to be more patient as his teammate was looking far more determined in difficult moments.
Nico finally won Formula 1 title in 2016
However, Rosberg was resolute to fight back. He has speed and talent and enough experience and finally he confirmed that he has enough confidence to become a Formula 1 champion. The start of 2016 was perfect after Nico won four races in a row and later another one in Baku. His form slightly dropped before the summer break when Hamilton caught him but German racer was prepared to resist attacks of his teammate.
In the second half of the year he won the races in Belgium, Italy, Singapore, and Japan, finished second in the last four races of the campaign and finally grabbed the title with an advantage of five points to Hamilton.
Just a couple of days after the biggest success of his career, Nico Rosberg announced retirement from racing at FIA Prize Giving Ceremony in Vienna. The German said that he fulfilled his childhood dream by winning the F1 title and surprised many, including Mercedes F1 Team boss Toto Wolff.