Rosberg’s retirement didn’t surprise me as much as it seems to have shocked other people. The timing surprised me, I am not Nostradamus, but not him retiring.
Rosberg has always struck me as a sensible person, in both senses of the word. I think he knows he’s not a better racing driver than Hamilton and that one World Championship is likely to be as good as it gets. I think he also knows that there’s no point in carrying on doing something you don’t enjoy when you’ve achieved all you can and have all the money you will ever need. There was also a certain amount of writing on the wall about his future given how slow Mercedes were being to renew his contract in mid-season.
I have no idea what Rosberg plans to do next, but I hope he has a lot of fun.
I think part of the reason people were so taken aback by his retirement is that most of us would do any number of truly terrible things to become Formula 1 drivers. Yet, there he is, walking away from the best car in the pack, a car that’s still likely to be the best next year, even with the rule changes.
Of course, I suspect that being an F1 driver is one of those things that looks a lot more fun than it actually is. We get to see the best bits, the actual racing, not the hours of testing, simulating, and work that goes into it. While it’s about F1 mechanics, there was a really interesting article on the BBC website about the realities of life in Formula 1 which I would recommend.
There is a large part of me that respects Rosberg for leaving as much as anything else he’s done because there must have been great pressure on him to stay.
One thing that does interest me is the number of people who refuse to believe that Rosberg has retired because he wants to spend more time with his family. Now I know that it’s the traditional fake reason for politicians, but look at Rosberg’s life. He’s got a wife and a new daughter, that the job kept him away from. He’s made all the money he’s ever going to need, so he doesn’t need the job, and the job has already killed someone he knew. If you look at it like that, it makes a lot of sense.
I’m also interested in the way that when a female sportsperson retires to start a family or spend more time with hers, it’s treated as perfectly normal, but if a male sportsperson does it, the sportsman is lying. People either have a really skewed view of the world, or they don’t think that men love their families as much as women do. Either way, I feel so sorry for people who feel like that, they seem to be missing out on rather a lot of joy in their lives.