Nico Erik Rosberg (born 27 June 1985) is a German-Finnish former racing driver who won the 2016 Formula One World Championship driving for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. The only child of Keke Rosberg (the 1982 Formula One World Champion) and his German wife Sina Rosberg, he was raised primarily in the principality of Monaco.
Rosberg began competitive go-kart racing at the age of six and began aiming for a career in Formula One four years later. He achieved early success, winning regional and national French championships, before moving to European-based series and world championships. At the age of sixteen, he progressed to car racing, winning the Formula BMW ADAC Championship with VIVA Racing in 2002 and claiming nine victories. He subsequently moved to the higher-tier Formula 3 Euro Series with Team Rosberg in 2003 and 2004 before winning the inaugural GP2 Series championship with ART Grand Prix in 2005.
Rosberg first drove in Formula One with Williams from 2006 to 2009 and achieved two podium finishes for the team in 2008. For 2010, he moved to Mercedes, partnering fellow German and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. Rosberg took his first career win at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. He was the teammate of former karting friend and eventual six-time World Drivers’ Champion, Lewis Hamilton, from 2013 to 2016, twice finishing as runner-up to his teammate before winning the title in 2016.
Rosberg announced his retirement from motor racing five days after clinching his maiden title, citing wanting to spend more time with his family and not wanting his driving ability to atrophy as the main factors behind his surprise decision. Overall he competed in 206 Grands Prix, winning 23, securing 57 podium finishes, 30 pole positions, and amassing 1594.5 championship points. In retirement, Rosberg moved into driver management, television punditry, and became an eco-entrepreneur. He was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year and was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame in 2017.
- 1 Personal background and education
- 2 Karting (1991-2001)
- 3 Junior car career (2001-2005)
- 4 Formula One career
- 5 Retirement from motor racing (2016-present)
- 6 Personality and driving style
- 7 Endorsements and philanthropy
- 8 Achievements and recognition
- 9 Racing record
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
Personal background and education
Rosberg was born on 27 June 1985 at the Red Cross Hospital in Wiesbaden, Hesse, West Germany, the only child of the Finnish racing driver Keke Rosberg, who won the 1982 Formula One World Championship, and his German wife Gesine Gleitsmann “Sina” Dengel, who worked as an interpreter. Because his father is Finnish and his mother is German, Rosberg has dual citizenship with both countries, competing with a Finnish racing license until the conclusion of his first season in the Formula 3 Euro Series. He switched to a German license to obtain major sponsorship agreements more easily.
He grew up in a stable household. Rosberg was raised in the Wiesbaden district of Nordenstadt in the first four weeks of his life, before living between the principality of Monaco and the Spanish island of Ibiza. He was educated at the International School of Nice and then the International School of Monaco. Rosberg was encouraged to pursue ventures in academia and sports. He was a conscientious, quick learner and was taught five languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.[a] Rosberg cherished studying mathematics and science, passing all of his examinations except history. He graduated with an average grade of 1.2 in 2002.
Rosberg married interior designer and his long-term partner Vivian Sibold at a civil ceremony in Monaco on 11 July 2014. They have two children, Alaa (born 2015) and Naila (born 2017), and run a creamery shop in Ibiza. He is a fan of the German football club FC Bayern Munich, played for the Monaco national tennis team, and formerly competed in triathlon events; these skills allowed him to save a five-year-old child from drowning in Monaco. Rosberg has a YouTube vlogging channel and hosts a podcast called “Beyond Victory” in which he discusses human performance and development with his guests.
At the age of four, Rosberg had his first driving experience when his father took him to a go-kart track in Ibiza for a holiday. He steered a Jeep, and his father controlled its speed with the accelerator and the brake pedals. Rosberg began competitive racing at the age of six and decided to aim for a career in Formula One motor racing after he observed his father competing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft in 1995. His parents did not discourage their son’s career choice. They consented on the condition that he maintained good grades at school. Rosberg had a competitive mindset, and his early achievements in go-karting helped him to improve his driving ability and to convince his father to become his manager.
In 1996, Rosberg won the Cte d’Azur Mini-Kart Regional Championship and the Trophee Jrme Bernard and the Trophee de France in 1997. Aged 12, he was the youngest champion of a French national karting series. Rosberg finished second in the French Manufacturers’ Trophy and the Cte d’Azur Regional Championship that same year. He progressed to the European karting championships a year later after moving from France to Italy so he could compete in international events. Competing in the 100 Junior category in a CRG kart, Rosberg finished fifth at the 28 Torneo Industrie, seventh in the Trofeo Andrea Margutti, and crashed out in the 1998 Green Helmet Trophy Cadets class of the European Championship for Cadets. In 1999, he was runner-up in the Italian Junior Karting Championship and was fourth in the ICA Junior CIK-FIA European Championship, again driving a CRG.
Rosberg’s father asked CRG executive Dino Chiesa in late 1999 to establish a separate karting team for his son and fellow driver Lewis Hamilton for a period of two to three years. Rosberg raced for TeamMBM.com (Mercedes-Benz McLaren) for the 2000 season.[b] He was runner-up in the European KF1 Championship and finished ninth in the Formula A World Cup. In 2001, Rosberg placed tenth in the South Garda Winter Cup and sixteenth in the Formula Super A World Championship. He concluded his karting career with a third-place finish in the latter series at a race in Kerpen.
At the age of sixteen, Rosberg progressed to car racing, competing in three races for the 2001 Formula BMW Junior Cup Iberia finishing in 18th in the Drivers’ Championship with 38 points. For his first full season of car racing, he drove for VIVA Racing in the 2002 Formula BMW ADAC Championship, winning the drivers’ title with nine victories from twenty races and accumulating 264 points. For winning the title, Rosberg drove a Williams FW24 at a test session at the Circuit de Catalunya on 3 December. At the time, he became the youngest person ever to drive a Formula One car.
The 2003 season saw Rosberg progress to the higher-tier Formula 3 Euro Series with Team Rosberg. Driving a Dallara F303–Opel, he won once at the Bugatti Circuit and took five podium finishes to place eighth in the Drivers’ Championship with 45 points. He was second in the Rookie Cup to Christian Klien. In November 2003, Rosberg was given a test in a Formula 3000 car at the Circuito de Jerez by Paolo Coloni, the team owner of Scuderia Coloni, as preparation for future Formula One testing with Williams. That same month, he entered the Macau Grand Prix and the Korea Super Prix with Carlin Motorsport, finishing in eleventh in Korea. Rosberg tested twice more for Williams in a modified FW25A chassis at the Circuit de Catalunya in December and January 2004 for them to evaluate his ability as a test driver.
He remained with Team Rosberg for the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series. Before that, Rosberg won two rounds of the Spanish Formula 3 Winter Series at the Circuito de Albacete as preparation. He won the season’s opening two races at the Hockenheimring and his campaign faltered through incidents and accidents: he took one other victory at the Nrburgring and three podium finishes. Rosberg finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with 70 points with a sixth-place finish at the Masters of Formula 3. He later crashed while leading the Macau Grand Prix in November and was second at the Bahrain Superprix a month later.
In the off-season, he was accepted into the Imperial College London, a university where several Formula One designers were educated, to study aeronautical engineering. Rosberg decided not commit to study there because he wanted to concentrate on his racing career; the university would have allowed him to combine the course with his racing. Rosberg’s father did not overturn the decision. For the inaugural GP2 Series season in 2005, Rosberg wanted to drive for BCN Competicion due to its results in the 2004 International Formula 3000 Championship.ART Grand Prix founders Nicolas Todt and Frdric Vasseur later persuaded him to sign a contract with their team by using a sales presentation; he paid around 850,000 to drive for the team.
Rosberg clinched his first series victory in the sprint race at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours and then won the feature events at Silverstone Circuit and the Hockenheimring from pole position. Rosberg took the Drivers’ Championship lead with a third-place finish in the feature race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after previous leader Heikki Kovalainen placed eighth. He maintained the points lead during the season-ending Bahrain International Circuit round, winning both races to become the maiden GP2 Series champion with 120 points.
Formula One career
In April 2005, Rosberg was signed by Williams to be its second test driver. He and fellow driver Nelson Piquet Jr. were analysed extensively before Rosberg was selected. He worked with Williams’s test and reserve driver Antnio Pizzonia and continued to focus on the GP2 Series. After race driver Nick Heidfeld was injured in a bicycle accident in September, Rosberg was shortlisted by Williams as his potential replacement for the season’s two final races, the Japanese Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix. The team opted for Pizzonia because they did not want to risk delaying Rosberg’s career by one to two years if he had a poor performance.
Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s commercial rights owner, said to Williams’s team principal and founder Frank Williams that he thought it would be advantageous to sign Rosberg as part of his desire to bring drivers with more liveliness to the series. Williams told Rosberg in October 2005 that he was assured of a role on the team as either a racer or test driver for the 2006 season after British American Racing‘s Jenson Button was released from a contract with the team.Autosport reported Rosberg signed a contact that month to race for Williams in 2006 so that the team could provide him with as much car acclimatisation as possible. The following month, he was announced as a driver for Williams on a five-year contract. Rosberg was selected by Frank Williams for his driving ability, his knowledge of Formula One technology, and his articulate communication of data to engineers. He was told of the news by his father in advance of the announcement.
Rosberg was paid 500,000 by Williams and was the first son of a former world champion to race in Formula One since Damon Hill in the 1999 championship. To prepare for the season, he achieved the highest score ever in Williams’s Engineering Aptitude Test, which was applied to all of the team’s new drivers, and ceased reading articles from the press to avoid becoming angered by negative publicity. He was assigned race engineer Tony Ross. At the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Rosberg scored his first career points with a seventh-place finish and set the race’s fastest lap. He became at the time the youngest driver in history, aged twenty years, eight months and thirteen days, to achieve this feat.[c] One week later, at the Malaysian Grand Prix, he attained a season-best starting position of third before his engine failed after seven laps. He scored points once more during the season when he placed seventh at the European Grand Prix as he made driver errors from inexperience and drove an unreliable car. Rosberg was outpaced by his teammate Mark Webber, with whom he had a good relationship. He finished with four points, finishing at 17th in the Drivers’ Championship.
Rosberg remained at Williams for 2007 and was partnered with the more experienced Alexander Wurz. He and his father mutually agreed to stop working with each other. Rosberg was optimistic heading into the season, citing his experience from the 2006 season that would allow Williams, which had switched engine suppliers from Cosworth to Toyota, to become more competitive. He began the season well: in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, he finished in seventh. Rosberg’s performances improved greatly from 2006 due to Williams restructuring itself and employing more experienced and capable personnel. He had more confidence in setting up the FW29 chassis to his liking, extracting additional speed and balance on a consistent basis. Rosberg also gained experience in controlling his emotions without a loss in speed. He frequently qualified better than Wurz and took points six more times with a season-best of fourth at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Rosberg scored 20 points for ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.
His performances throughout the season enhanced his reputation, and he was linked to several teams for the 2008 season. After the 2007 championship ended, the McLaren team shortlisted Rosberg as one of three drivers to replace the outgoing two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who was lead driver Lewis Hamilton’s preferred teammate. They approached Frank Williams during late 2007 to discuss an offer of “majestic proportions” to purchase Rosberg’s contract. Williams immediately rejected the proposal and extended the latter’s contract to the conclusion of the 2009 championship on the basis of the team’s Constructors’ Championship finishing position. Rosberg subsequently told Williams of his desire to remain with them on the condition that he would be provided with a competitive car.
The 2008 season was the first in which Rosberg was the more experienced driver on his team. He was partnered with Williams’s test and reserve driver Kazuki Nakajima. He stated his confidence the Williams team would finish in the top five positions in the Constructors’ Championship and had improved his technical skills. Rosberg began the season with a third-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix, the first podium finish of his career. Afterwards, his campaign faltered because the FW30 lacked outright performance and Williams did not develop the car fast enough for it to be competitive. Rosberg was occasionally outperformed by his teammate Nakajima, and driver errors cost him chances of accumulating further championship points; he was able to adapt to a ban on traction control from Formula One. He improved the best result of his career with a second at the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix fourteen races later. Rosberg finished thirteenth in the Drivers’ Championship with 17 points.
Rosberg returned to drive for Williams in the 2009 season and was again partnered with Kazuki Nakajima. He said that he was confident that Williams could challenge for podium finishes during the campaign: “Winter testing has been good, but I think we are not where we want to be just yet. However, the potential for development is huge because of the new rules, so we will be looking to making strong progress throughout the year to get closer to the podium.” Rosberg lost five percent of his body weight to compensate for the introduction of the kinetic energy recovery systems that increased the car’s minimum weight limit to 605 kg (1,334 lb). He had an improved season: the Williams FW31 was one of three cars to have a speed advantage early in the season because it featured a double diffuser system, however, the team could not sustain the car’s pace of development. Rosberg finished sixteen out of season’s seventeen rounds; the exception was the Brazilian Grand Prix. He was consistent in attaining top-eight point-scoring finishes, achieving a season-best result of fourth at the German Grand Prix and the following Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg scored 34.5 points for a seventh-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship.
In mid-to-late 2009, Mercedes-Benz vice-president of motorsport Norbert Haug discussed with Rosberg the possibility of driving for the manufacturer for the 2010 season pending its acquisition of Brawn GP. Rosberg also talked to McLaren and Williams about potential employment; he was skeptical because Williams was mulling over whether Renault or Cosworth should be the team’s engine supplier. On 29 October, he confirmed his departure from Williams at the conclusion of the season and was officially released from his contract with the team on 1 January 2010. One week later Mercedes purchased 75 percent of Brawn GP and entered Formula One under its own name; Rosberg was announced as its first driver in November 2009. He was partnered with the seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and was assigned car No. 4 after Schumacher requested No. 3 for superstitious reasons.
Rosberg was mentored by Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn although he was apprehensive given the history of Brawn and Schumacher’s relationship when they were at Ferrari. Rosberg attained third-place finishes at the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Chinese Grand Prix, and the British Grand Prix. He scored championship points in all but four of the season’s rounds; he generally attained higher finishing positions than he qualified and did so against his teammate Schumacher fifteen times to four during the season. He was better able to cope with a terminal understeer that affected the MGP W01‘s handling than Schumacher due to Mercedes forgoing much development work on the car because of Brawn GP’s focus on the 2009 championship. The car was five-tenths of a second slower on a majority of race tracks. Rosberg was seventh in the final Drivers’ Championship standings with 142 points. His performances during the season enhanced his reputation as a consistent and fast driver.
Rosberg remained with Mercedes for the 2011 season and was again joined by Michael Schumacher. He stated that his objective for the season was to claim his first career victory: “It’s not easy for us because from where we were in 2010, it’s not so straightforward to make that jump because everyone else has a headstart. It’s difficult, but it’s achievable. We need to wait and see.” Rosberg had a mixed season: he led the Chinese Grand Prix and the Belgian Grand Prix, but the MGP W02 wore the Pirelli-specification tires quickly and made the car noncompetitive. He was able to maintain a consistent performance during all of the qualifying sessions and began in a higher grid position than his teammate Schumacher sixteen times to three during the season. Rosberg finished no higher than fifth place in the season’s nineteen rounds and was seventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings with 89 points.
The press linked Rosberg to Ferrari as a replacement for driver Felipe Massa from the 2012 campaign after Massa obtained sub-par results. In November 2011, he signed a contract extension to remain at Mercedes until after the 2013 championship. An important factor in Rosberg’s decision was the Mercedes team undergoing a technical restructure, which saw the appointments of Bob Bell as technical director and Geoff Willis as head of technology in mid-2011. Other reasons included his belief Mercedes would be able to improve their performance and have a potential for race victories. For the third consecutive year, Rosberg stated his objective to claim a race victory: “We want to improve on last year and get on the path to becoming the best Formula One team. I am convinced that I can win with this team. Of course I respect what others hope for and think. But ultimately I’ll give full throttle and power.”
Three-time world champion Niki Lauda began to advise Rosberg. At the Chinese Grand Prix, the season’s third round, he took the first pole position of his career and his maiden career victory. Rosberg earned Mercedes its first win as a factory team since Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. He then challenged Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber for the victory at the Monaco Grand Prix three races later before he settled for a second-place finish. Rosberg had accumulated more championship points than any other driver in the season’s previous four races and emerged as an unlikely contender for the Drivers’ Championship. Notwithstanding this, he took one further top five finish during the season. However, he struggled to generate temperature into the rear tires on the Mercedes F1 W03 regardless of the climatic conditions, and the car was suited to circuits with slow-speed corners. He was ninth in the Drivers’ Championship with 93 points.
Before the 2013 season, Rosberg was joined at Mercedes by the 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who replaced the retired Michael Schumacher. He was granted equal status by Mercedes and received no preferential treatment alongside Hamilton. During the pre-season period, Rosberg visited the Mercedes factory in Brackley, England. He displayed a fascination with the F1 W04‘s technological development and assisted the team in the car’s development. He said his challenge for the season was to begin it better than the previous campaign and acknowledged the difficulty of the task: “The factory is a stronger team than it’s ever been and it’s making big steps. I have no doubts that a better car will come out of that.”
Rosberg challenged his teammate Hamilton throughout the season qualifying higher eight times and finishing more often. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, the season’s second race, a minor controversy was created when Mercedes invoked team orders on him to remain in fourth place and not challenge Hamilton for third. Unhappy over the decision, Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix as he led every lap from pole position to become the first son of a world champion driver in history to win the event four rounds later. He then won the British Grand Prix for his third career victory after Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel retired from the lead with a broken gearbox late on. Thereafter, Rosberg scored championship points in nine of the season’s ten remaining rounds with consecutive podium finishes second at the Indian Grand Prix and third at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He finished sixth in the Drivers’ Championship with 171 points and three pole positions. The results Rosberg attained over the season earned him additional respect within the Formula One community.
Rosberg continued to drive for Mercedes in the 2014 campaign with Lewis Hamilton again as his partner. He was regarded as a favourite to claim the Drivers’ Championship because of the team’s development of the F1 W05 Hybrid and adaptation to the technical regulations mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines during the pre-season testing sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Rosberg said that Mercedes was ready to challenge for the championship and sought the cooperation of every mechanic employed by the team: “There’s so much that’s different this season. It’s really a matter of practising to integrate it all, and making it sub-conscious. The more you have to think, that’s when things are going to go wrong. There’s a very positive energy and momentum in the team. Everybody is really firing up. It’s obvious in every single person.”
At the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Rosberg led every lap from third place to secure his first victory of the season and took an early lead in the Drivers’ Championship. He took a quartet of second place finishes, but Hamilton’s four straight victories lost Rosberg the championship advantage. Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix for the second consecutive season to reclaim the point lead after he took pole position in contentious circumstances. He then won in Austria and repeated the result two rounds later in Germany. It appeared that Rosberg would win the championship after he and Hamilton made contact in the Belgium, until a short circuit on his car in Singapore nullified that advantage.
Rosberg took four consecutive podium place finishes and won the Brazilian Grand Prix to ensure the Drivers’ Championship would be decided at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi. To claim his first Drivers’ Championship, he needed to win the race, and Hamilton come third or lower. An energy recovery system failure meant that Rosberg took no points, and he finished second in the Drivers’ Championship with 317 points.
Having signed a contact worth a reported 55 million with Mercedes that was due to expire at the conclusion of the 2016 season, Rosberg continued to drive for the team in the 2015 championship.[d] During the off-season he sought to correct a body deficiency, which caused him to hold his breath against the g-forces that he experienced in corners taken at high speed, since he did not want to limit the flow of oxygen to his brain and muscles.[e] Rosberg said the experience of challenging for the Drivers’ Championship provided him with additional motivation to finish higher than his teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2015: “I want to make the championship this season. It’s my big dream to be the F1 world champion and it’s very likely I will get another opportunity to get it this year.”, and, “The aim is to keep the qualifying the same, which gives me a lot of hope, and to improve my racing.”
After a quartet of top-three podium finishes in the season’s first four races, he took consecutive wins in Spain and Monaco. He then claimed his third victory at the Austrian Grand Prix. These three victories came as Rosberg’s overall performance diminished after he focused more on the race rather than qualifying, and his hold on second in the Drivers’ Championship was threatened by Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. Thereafter retirements from the Italian and Russian events and two driver errors on a wet track at the United States Grand Prix meant that he was mathematically unable to claim his first championship. Rosberg won the season’s final three rounds in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi with six consecutive pole positions to finish runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship with 322 points.
Before the 2016 season Rosberg stopped reading the news and studied sleep with a jet-lag doctor as he focused on his family and winning the next Grand Prix. He altered his racing gloves to enable him to execute improved getaways off the starting grid, employed a mental trainer to increase his aggression, and spent his spare time go-karting to maintain his ability. Rosberg eschewed Facebook for five months, studied philosophy, meditated to stay concentrated, and received detailed technical input from Mercedes’s mechanics at its headquarters in Brackley, England. He said he was confident that he would drive a competitive car and wanted to maintain confidence by beating his teammate Lewis Hamilton: “Lewis has beaten me to the title for the last two years, so the odds are in his favour again, but I’ve shown many times that I can beat him. I just need to do it more regularly. Last year ended well for me, which was important. Austin was a very tough moment – definitely the lowest point of the year – and I needed to bounce back from a deep hole like that.”
He carried over his form from the 2015 season, winning the first four races to lead Hamilton by 43 championship points. Rosberg and Hamilton made high-speed contact at the Spanish Grand Prix; Hamilton won the lead after sub-par results in the following eight rounds afterwards. During a mid-season interval, he changed his diet to remove sugars from his body and abstained from alcohol. Rosberg mulled over how to further better his performance because of a strain over starting a diet; he refrained from cycling, losing 1 kg (2.2 lb) of muscle in both his legs. This enabled him to win in Singapore and Japan. He took a trio of second-place finishes to enter the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ahead of Hamilton by 12 points.
To win the Drivers’ Championship, Rosberg needed a top-three finishing position regardless of whether Hamilton was first or second. He won the Drivers’ Championship by five points with a second-place finish after he withstood Hamilton’s attempts to back him into the chasing pack and encourage drivers to pass Rosberg to claim the title for himself. Rosberg became the second son of a former world championship to win the title after Damon Hill replicated the achievement of his father Graham Hill in the 1996 championship. He published a limited-edition book entitled Finally about the 2016 season on 24 December 2016. Overall Rosberg competed in 206 races: he won 23, achieved 30 pole positions, gained 57 podium finishes, and scored 1594.5 championship points.
Retirement from motor racing (2016-present)”] Rosberg holding the 2016 Formula One World Drivers’ Championship trophy
Rosberg began to contemplate retirement from motor racing when he considered the possibility of a championship win after the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix. He discussed it twice with his wife Vivian before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and decided to commit to retiring before the race commenced. Afterwards, Rosberg confirmed to his wife that he would retire. He then informed his personal manager Georg Nolte and telephoned the Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff about the decision. He did not tell Wolff in person because he was apprehensive about the reaction that he would receive. At a FIA Prize Giving Ceremony in Vienna on 2 December 2016, he publicly announced his retirement to the media. Rosberg said he had reached the “pinnacle” of his career; he did not want to go through a reduction in on-track ability and wished to spend more time with his young family. He was the first reigning champion to retire from Formula One since Alain Prost won the 1993 championship. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas replaced Rosberg at Mercedes.
In retirement, Rosberg’s love of engineering and innovation saw him venture into eco-entrepreneurship. He used his celebrity status to advance the industry. He began with a fact-finding visit to Silicon Valley, where he tested and observed the construction of electric and self-autonomous vehicles. In July 2017, he visited the headquarters of the all-electric Formula E racing series and attended the 2017 Hong Kong ePrix double header four months later; he became fascinated in the e-mobility movement and its surrounding environment. Rosberg announced in April 2018 he had become a long-term investor and shareholder in Formula E. Focusing primarily in Europe, Rosberg has invested in multiple start-up technology companies and launched the Greentech Festival with the entrepreneurs Sven Krger and Marco Voigt in February 2019 to showcase worldwide sustainable technologies at the 2019 Berlin ePrix three months later.
In October 2017, Rosberg joined Team Rosberg as an adviser for its venture into the ADAC GT Masters sports car championship in 2018. He also joined the management team of the racing driver Robert Kubica that September. Rosberg assisted in Kubica’s desire to return to Formula One after a severe 2011 rally accident left the latter with partial movement in his right arm. He reduced his involvement with Kubica in April 2018 to focus on his ventures in business. Since the 2018 season, Rosberg has analysed select Formula One races for Sky Sports F1 in the United Kingdom, RTL in Germany, and Sky Italia in Italy. He impressed viewers for conveying digestible information to them. That same year, Rosberg co-founded the Rosberg Young Drivers Academy with his former karting principal Dino Chiesa to find and support young go-kart drivers. In April 2019, Rosberg declined an offer from the Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass to drive an RS5 DTM as a wild-card entrant in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters because he did not feel fit enough to return to racing.
Personality and driving style
Rosberg has been described by journalists as an articulate individual who speaks with “Germanic precision” and has “more than a hint of canny PR-iness, distributing praise with diligent equality and seasoning his narrative with caveats when required.” According to the motor racing commentator and pundit Will Buxton, his inability to decide with whom he wanted to side caused him to alter his approach to the media: Rosberg spoke to the American press with “confident and unashamed tones” whereas he was circumspect with the British media. He has avoided the use of appearing to be courageous to impress others, and some saw him as detrimental to Formula One’s goal to attract new fans due to a perceived lack of personality and his commitment to fitness. Nicknamed “Britney” after the singer Britney Spears by his colleagues at Williams for sporting blonde hair, Rosberg is shy in private, reserved, quiet, and has a dry and sarcastic wit, which has occasionally “played out with a deft finesse.” He has been called charming, shrewd, intelligent, focused, and photogenic. Rosberg is an avid reader of books that further his knowledge. His wealthy and cosmopolitan Monegasque upbringing, coupled with his polyglotism led him to describe himself as an “International German.”
Throughout his career, Rosberg had a strong work ethic, talking to engineers and mechanics, and employed a cartographer to study each track. Formula One pundits regarded Rosberg as “among the most promising emergent stars of what some already call ‘the Lewis generation’.” The media and fans compared him initially to the 1982 world champion, his father Keke. That comparison lessened as his career progressed; he refused to discuss the comparison with the press and the difficulty in attempting to achieve as much success as his father was rarely mentioned. During the period Rosberg was Michael Schumacher’s teammate at Mercedes, he was highly cautious about what he said to the off-track press, fearing that they could misinterpret his words.
Rosberg had a scientific driving style; he sought to fine-tune his car in specific detail and adapted his driving ability around the changes, especially over a single lap. He shared his father’s preference of oversteer over understeer and lacked a flamboyant driving technique. Rosberg’s qualifying preparations would be compromised in the event that he leaned towards a race setup; he analysed the situation and attempted to optimise his driving style to win races. Buxton described him as “quick from the outset” and a driver who “was so impressive; seemingly effortlessly rapid and blessed with a precision that was metronomic.”
Helmet design and car number
For the 2014 season, the FIA created a new sporting regulation to allow a driver to select a unique car number for use throughout his Formula One career. Rosberg selected number six because it was his wife and father’s lucky number. He also changed the colour of his helmet after eight years from yellow to dark grey. The overall design included chrome, some Buddhist influence, clean lines, and personal symbols; it was designed by Jens Munser.[f]
Endorsements and philanthropy
Creative Artists Agency (CAA), through its sports division CAA Sports, represents Rosberg’s commercial ventures. From 2010 to 2015, he was associated with the jewellery and watch brand Thomas Sabo, and the luxury travel accessory maker Tumi. Rosberg signed numerous endorsement contracts; some of the companies with which he has done business are the watchmaker Rolex, the luxury fashion house Hugo Boss, the toy car company Hot Wheels, the railway company Deutsche Bahn, and the media broadcasters Sky Sports and RTL. As a result of Rosberg’s endorsement money and Mercedes salary, he was listed as one of the world’s highest-paid athletes by Forbes in 2016.
Rosberg is an ambassador for Mercedes-Benz,Laureus, the investment bank UBS, the hotel chain Kempinski, the Tribute to Bambi Foundation, and the electric car manufacturer Schaeffler Group. He is part of the alcohol brewing company Heineken‘s anti-drink-drive campaign. He accumulated 160,900 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation as part of a campaign called #DriveForGood in which 100 was donated for every kilometre he led in a Formula One race from the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix to the season-ending 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In 2012, Rosberg teamed with the children’s aid organisation Ein Herz fr Kinder (German: A Heart of Children) and has raised capital for the charity through various events. Rosberg has worked for the Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli charity, which supplies water and basic sanitation to individuals in developing countries.
Achievements and recognition
On 5 June 2011 Rosberg received the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy, which honours a recipient “for their dedication to motor racing, spirit of competition and achievements”. At the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix, he earned the inaugural FIA Pole Trophy because at eleven pole positions he had won more than any other driver during the 2014 season. Rosberg won the DHL Fastest Lap Award because he recorded seven fastest lap times, more than any other driver during the 2016 season.
Rosberg won the Bambi Best Sportsman Award in 2014, the Autosport International Racing Driver Award in 2016, the 2017 Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year, the DMSB Cup from the German Motor Sport Federation (German: Deutscher Motor Sport Bund; DMSB) that same year, and the 2018 Special Prize Entrepreneur of the Year at the GreenTec Awards. Rosberg was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame in December 2017.
SeasonSeriesTeamRacesWinsPolesF/LapsPodiumsPointsPosition2001Formula BMW Junior Cup Iberia300003818th2002Formula BMW ADACVIVA Racing20951132641st2003Formula 3 Euro SeriesTeam Rosberg201125458thMasters of Formula 310000N/ANCMacau Grand PrixCarlin Motorsport10000N/ANCKorea Super Prix10000N/A11th2004Formula 3 Euro SeriesTeam Rosberg193225704thMacau Grand Prix10000N/ANCMasters of Formula 310000N/A6thBahrain Superprix10001N/A2nd2005GP2 SeriesART Grand Prix23545121201stFormula OneBMW Williams F1 TeamTest driver2006Formula OneWilliamsF1 Team180010417th2007Formula OneAT&T Williams170000209th2008Formula OneAT&T Williams1800021713th2009Formula OneAT&T Williams17001034.57th2010Formula OneMercedes GP Petronas F1 Team1900031427th2011Formula OneMercedes GP Petronas F1 Team190000897th2012Formula OneMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team201122939th2013Formula OneMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1923041716th2014Formula OneMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team195115153172nd2015Formula OneMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team19675153222nd2016Formula OneMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team21986163851stSources:
Complete Formula 3 Euro Series results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number denotes the finishing position)
YearEntrantChassisEngine1234567891011121314151617181920DCPoints2003Team RosbergDallara F303/005Spiess-OpelHOC
Ret8th452004Team RosbergDallara F303/006Spiess-OpelHOC
Complete GP2 Series results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number denotes the finishing position)
YearEntrant1234567891011121314151617181920212223DCPoints2005ART Grand PrixIMO
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; small number denotes the finishing position)
YearEntrantChassisEngine123456789101112131415161718192021WDCPts2006Williams F1 TeamWilliams FW28Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8BHR
Ret17th42007AT&T WilliamsWilliams FW29Toyota RVX-07 2.4 V8AUS
49th202008AT&T WilliamsWilliams FW30Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8AUS
1213th172009AT&T WilliamsWilliams FW31Toyota RVX-09 2.4 V8AUS
97th34.52010Mercedes GP Petronas F1 TeamMercedes MGP W01Mercedes FO 108X 2.4 V8BHR
47th1422011Mercedes GP Petronas F1 TeamMercedes MGP W02Mercedes FO 108Y 2.4 V8AUS
77th892012Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamMercedes F1 W03Mercedes FO 108Z 2.4 V8AUS
159th932013Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamMercedes F1 W04Mercedes FO 108F 2.4 V8AUS
56th1712014Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamMercedes F1 W05 HybridMercedes PU106A Hybrid 1.6 V6 tAUS
142nd3172015Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamMercedes F1 W06 HybridMercedes PU106B Hybrid 1.6 V6 tAUS
12nd3222016Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamMercedes F1 W07 HybridMercedes PU106C Hybrid 1.6 V6 tAUS
Driver failed to finish the race but was classified since he had completed more than 90% of the race distance.
Half points awarded because less than 75% of race distance was completed.