As a race fan, particularly of F1, the sudden retirement of Nico Rosberg has left us in a contemplative mood. While he had his fans here in Team FMR, he wasn't my favourite. I was firmly a Hamilton supporter, but now looking back I realize I didn't appreciate Nico, hidden as he could be in the shadow of his childhood friend and nemesis. And that’s ironic as I am a steady number two to my own teammate and friend (Who is, oddly a Nico fan).
I like racing, I enjoy the competition, the rivalries, and the friendships. I enjoy a day at the track and love to celebrate our team’s accomplishments. But I don’t live and breath racing like some of my competitors. I can see where Nico came from. He had a lifelong dream to be a world champion and beat his friend and rival. But after that, what was the point in still racing? He had the money, the lifestyle and the fame. what could F1 now offer him except frustration and a constant distraction from his other interests.
People say he’s not one of the greats, but I disagree. To run against Hamilton, a true F1 talent, and to always been pushing him showed just how great he was. Hamilton lived and breathed racing, and yet all that dedication only kept him slightly ahead of Nico. Just far enough to win more often than lose, but not far enough to really prove one driver was miles ahead of the other in talent. And while Hamilton may party more, there’s no doubt that Nico’s interest and family were more mentally consuming than being a hip celebrity. So perhaps Nico had more raw talent, and Hamilton just was the harder worker?
I will miss watching Hamilton and Nico battle it out at front. But I wonder how much Hamilton will miss it? For whether he considers it or not, Nico drove him to be the best. And that’s something to celebrate, as we all remember the 2016 F1 World Driver’s Champion.
Best of luck wherever you end up, Nico Rosberg. You will be missed.