On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, we looked at the struggles Jimmie Johnson and his team have had over much of the last six weeks. There’s no question Johnson has been in a bit of rut and must turn things around as the end of the regular season approaches. Kyle Petty said Johnson is not used to the new playoff format and must hit the ground running in the first three races or fear being left in the dust.
Nico Rosberg says he would have continued racing in Formula 1 had he lost the drivers’ championship to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton last weekend in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg clinched his maiden F1 World Championship by five points ahead of Hamilton before sensationally announcing his immediate retirement from racing five days later.
The news sent shockwaves through F1, but Rosberg was content with fulfilling his childhood dream and winning the World Championship, reasoning his retirement.
“When I was six years old and started out, the dream was very clear: it’s becoming Formula 1 World Champion,” Rosberg said after receiving the championship trophy at the FIA gala in Vienna on Friday.
“That’s what I pursued all along, and it’s mission accomplished for me. I’ve done it. It’s my dream come true.
“Now on to other things, family first now, in the winter gonna love that, and let’s see what the future holds. Just following my heart.”
Rosberg revealed that he would have continued in F1 had he lost out to Hamilton in the race for the championship, with his Mercedes contract running to the end of the 2018 season.
“No I never give up. So if I would have come second, I would have gone for another year for sure, next year, definitely,” Rosberg said.
“I knew when I won [I would retire], but I wasn’t sure yet if I had the courage. But here I am now, and I’m very happy.”
Nico Rosberg has officially been crowned Formula 1 World Champion after picking up the drivers’ trophy at the end-of-season FIA prize giving gala in Vienna on Friday.
Rosberg won his first world title last weekend in Abu Dhabi, edging out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by five points in the final standings.
Rosberg dropped a bombshell on Friday by announcing his immediate retirement from F1, just hours before the FIA gala and his coronation as champion.
“Finally I lose that little asterisk next to my name that means not sure yet, it’s finally confirmed,” Rosberg said after receiving the trophy from FIA president Jean Todt.
“Unbelievable. So proud to be here. Thank you very much to the FIA for the special video that got me crying for the 15th time in four days. It’s been a pretty intense period.
“It’s my childhood dream. Emotional for me also when I saw this trophy for the first time today, I had a look where my Dad was. For me that’s one of the most emotional things about this, I managed to achieve what he did 34 years ago. It’s very special.”
Daniel Ricciardo says that Nico Rosberg has given someone “an amazing Christmas present” by announcing his shock retirement from Formula 1 and opening up a seat at Mercedes for the 2017 season.
Ahead of Friday’s FIA prize giving in Vienna, Rosberg announced his retirement from F1 with immediate effect less than a week after winning his first World Championship.
The news sent shockwaves through F1, as well as sparking speculation as to who will replace him at Mercedes, the team that has won every championship in the past three seasons.
Following the FIA gala where he received his trophy for finishing third in the drivers’ championship, Ricciardo spoke about the news in a video posted to his Instagram account.
“We had the FIA gala last night, the end of year awards. It was good, it was really beautiful, but I think the big news was Nico announcing his retirement,” Ricciardo said.
“That was pretty unexpected I guess. He’s given someone an amazing Christmas present, whoever gets that seat, I hope they appreciate what they’re getting.
“But good on him for having the nuts to say that’s enough, he achieved what he wanted. Fair play.”
Bernie Ecclestone was shocked to learn of Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg’s decision to retire with immediate effect, announced on Friday.
Rosberg clinched his first drivers’ title in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, ending Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton’s reign as World Champion.
Ahead of the FIA prize giving in Vienna on Friday, Rosberg announced that he would not be defending his title in 2017, retiring from racing with immediate effect.
The racing world has been shellshocked by the news, with F1 CEO Ecclestone revealing that he had no idea that the sport would be without its champion for next season.
“It was just as big a shock to me as you,” Ecclestone told Reuters.
“I had dinner with Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] last night and he obviously couldn’t say anything to me.
“[Rosberg] needs more time to spend his money, that’s all.”
Following Rosberg’s announcement, speculation has been rife regarding a possible replacement at Mercedes for 2017, with names such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Pascal Wehrlein being linked with the seat.
Ecclestone was open to the idea of Alonso leaving McLaren with one year to spare on his contract, suggesting that the recent management changes could allow the Spaniard to walk away.
“It’s possible I suppose, let’s see,” Ecclestone said.
“They’ve got new management now at McLaren. Maybe he’s fed up being there and they’re fed up having him.”
When asked if Vettel might be an option for Mercedes, Ecclestone said: “I think not. I don’t think Seb would want to be with Lewis.”
2017 will be the first year since 1994 that the defending World Champion has not raced in F1, with Alain Prost retiring at the end of his championship year in 1993.