Nico Rosberg

, - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Country: 
Full Name: 
Nico Rosberg
Birth Date: 
24 June, 1985
Birth Place: 
Wiesbaden
Driver Status: 
Former
Status Text: 
Married
Driver Height: 
178cm
Driver Weight: 
71kg

1
Championship Titles

206
Races
23
Wins
30
Poles
1
Titles

Nico Rosberg Biography
 

As a karting champion in France when only twelve and then youngest man to ever drive a Formula One car, aged just 17 in December 2002, Nico Rosberg's racing career has always been running in the fast lane.

Of course, being the son of the 1982 world champion Keke, who shrewdly guides his career, has certainly opened doors for the cool and assured Rosberg, who has thus far passed all the hurdles in the junior formula with ever increasing assuredness.

With his parents domiciled in Monaco, the young Nico, was a very promising tennis player but opted to take up karting as it dovetailed neatly with his education. The youngster spent five seasons in the discipline before moving up to cars in 2002 to contest the BMW Formula series in Germany. The ease with which nine race wins and the title came as some surprise to the rookie, but it opened the door for an immediate graduation into the Formula 3 Euroseries with his father's Team Rosberg for 2003.

In strong field, Nico driving an Opel powered Dallara took a win at Le Mans and placed eighth overall in his debut year, finishing second to Christian Klien in the Rookie Cup. Much was expected for the following season and a pair of wins in the opening round at Hockenheim seemed to signal a championship bid, but thereafter Rosberg's challenge stuttered, and despite a win at the Nurburgring, the German passport holder, ended up somewhat a disappointed fourth in the standings.

It was the 2005 season in which Rosberg really came of age. Away from the familiar surroundings of his father's team, Nico eventually decided to join Formula 3 graduates ASM, renamed ART, for the newly introduced GP2 series. He immediately gelled with his new team, and after a hesitant start by all concerned, the young Rosberg finally delivered a win at Magny Cours in July. This was followed by another victory following race at Silverstone and suddenly Rosberg was looking a championship contender. He eventually edged out the talented Finn Heikki Kovalainen with the pair Formula 1 aspirants well clear of the rest of the opposition.

Having already hugely impressed in his 2005 test role for Williams, it came as no surprise when young Nico was chosen to partner Mark Webber in the team for 2006. Such is Sir Frank's belief in his young charge that he has signed up the youngster to a long-term contract confident that he has true world championship potential.

His debut season in F1 though was not easy, especially given that the Williams package was far from competitive. Indeed while he had a dream start, and finished seventh on his first outing in Bahrain to score two points and set the fastest lap, he would manage only one other points' finish during the year.

Furthermore while he was hyped as the next big thing in the early part of the year, as the season progressed, his inexperience began to tell and ultimately his next best results - after seventh in Bahrain and seventh at the Nurburgring - were two ninth places finishes in Britain and America. Nico eventually ended 2006 having scored 4 points in total and was classified 17th in the drivers' championship.

Rosberg remained with Williams for 2007, where he was joined by veteran Alex Wurz, promoted from the role of test driver. Eager to bounce back from a less-than-spectacular end to his first season in F1, the German opened his account with seventh in round one and benefited from improved reliability and Toyota power in the Williams camp to get miles under his belt. However, more often than not in the first half of the season, his results did not match up to either his or the FW29's potential, with only a solitary sixth to add to his tally before the mid-point at Silverstone.

Thereafter, things looked up, with successive scores sandwiched between DNFs in the European and Japanese GPs, and a season-high of fourth at the Brazilian finale to secure ninth in the standings.

Rosberg's combative displays made his a target for rival teams, notably McLaren and Toyota, but Williams moved swiftly to quell the rumours by confirming his services were required for 2008, and then announcing a contract extension to cover 2009 as well. Whether this was a shrewd move to bump up the release fee required of any hard-to-dissuade suitor remains to be seen, but the combination believes that it can go places in the next couple of years.

Indeed, following all the promise of his first two seasons in Formula 1, 2008 was supposed to be the year in which Rosberg finally broke through and in the opening race in Australia, it looked as if it might just live up to that promise, and launch the inaugural GP2 Series Champion on the path to superstardom that he had been threatening to tread for the entirety of his junior formulae career.

A maiden podium finish in Melbourne was the reward for a superb and mature drive from seventh on the grid, but the young German would be brought back down to earth again with a bang in round two in Malaysia just a week later, as he barely scraped through to the second part of qualifying and race day would prove to be barely any more encouraging. Suddenly, Nico’s spectacular performance Down Under was little more than a memory, and Williams would never again regain the momentum it had displayed on that spring day in New South Wales.

There would, at least, be another rostrum along the way to highlight the gloom, with a brilliant and entirely merited run to the runner-up position behind Renault’s Fernando Alonso in the sport’s first-ever night race in Singapore towards the end of the campaign, which marked Rosberg’s best result in the top flight to-date.

That aside, though, there were no finishes any higher than eighth, despite no fewer than seven top ten qualifying appearances, as the son of 1982 F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg invariably out-performed the limitations of the machinery at his disposal. Third row starting spots in Monaco, Canada and Italy were magnificent cameos, but that none of them resulted in points was somewhat symptomatic of Nico’s season one during which he gave 110 per cent week-in, week-out, only to be stymied by a car that just wasn’t up to the task, and the team knew it.

Having fought tooth-and-nail to keep hold of their star turn over the previous couple of years, Williams knew that they had to be considerably closer to the pace in 2009. The change in regulations, and the team's recognition of the double diffuser 'loophole' appeared to have given Rosberg an early leg-up but, once again, the season ultimately failed to deliver the desired reward.

 Points finishes were regular, but failed to produce a podium, with fourth places in Germany and Hungary the high points. Although Rosberg finished the season seventh overall, it was clear that he remained restless and it was no surprise when overtures from elsewhere led to his departure from Grove.

 Rumoured to be a target for champions Brawn GP from the middle of 2009, Rosberg duly made the move to Brackley, where he found himself the first signing for the new Mercedes works team. Any hope that he may be cast as Jenson Button's successor as championship contender, however, was tempered by the subsequent arrival of Michael Schumacher as his team-mate, the German veteran having been lured out of retirement after three years away.

 Exactly what 2010 holds for Rosberg now appeared clouded. The move to Mercedes was undoubtedly a step up from Williams, but seemed unlikely to yield the chance he craved to establish himself as a winner, especially when the WO1 proved to be less formidable than its predecessor, a result of Brawn's title challenge going to the wire.

 Undaunted, however, Rosberg set about his task with gusto, reeling off two fifths and two thirds in the opening four flyaway rounds. There were no wins but, the odd blip aside, Rosberg proved to be a regular pointscorer - and, crucially, overshadowed Schumacher throughout the season. He eventually finished seventh overall, best of the rest behind the Red Buill, Ferrari and McLaren duos, having added another podium at Silverstone.

 Mercedes wound down development of its 2010 car midway through the season, in the hope that renewed focus on 2011 would allow both drivers to take a step forward in competitivity and, perhaps, finally elevate Rosberg to the role of racewinner. It was not to be, as the WO2 proved no more competitive than its predecessor - and, indeed, denied either driver a podium finish in 2011.

 Fifth place proved to be the best Rosberg could muster - a feat achieved in the back-to-back races in China and Turkey - before sixths and sevenths became the norm. Despite that, he still out-performed Schumacher for a second straight year, by 89 points to 76, even if the seven-time champion showed a marked upturn in his own performance.

 The annual 'silly season' saw Rosberg being linked to Felipe Massa's seat at Ferrari, but any speculation was laid to rest when the youngster inked an extension to his Mercedes deal, putting his faith in Ross Brawn's engineering team to come up with a better car in 2012, when he would again partner Schumacher in the pursuit of Red Bull.

 Things looked bright for Mercedes early in the year and, despite a sluggish start in Australia and Malaysia, looked set to get better when Rosberg claimed both his first pole and maiden win at Shanghai International Circuit. He followed them up with second in Monaco, and the W03 appeared to have stolen a march on its rivals with its front wing stalling concept but, almost as soon as the opposition began to consider the new threat, Rosberg and the Three Pointed Star began to fade.

 Over the second half of the season, only fifth in Singapore represented a decent return for the German, who then failed to score in the final six races, consigning him to ninth in the final standings with just 93 points.

With Schumacher calling time on his career for a second
time, a new challenge awaited Rosberg in 2013, with former karting team-mate
Lewis Hamilton joining Mercedes in place of the seven-time champion. Again,
Rosberg showed up well, taking two victories to Hamilton’s one including the
crown jewel of Monaco, although reliability issues ultimately prevented him
finishing above his team-mate in the final standings.

With the best power unit and a very strong car for 2014, Rosberg was touted as a contender for the championship alongside Hamilton.

Rosberg went toe-to-toe against his team-mate throughout the season in a tussle for the championship but ultimately the pressure got to the German in pivotal moments during the season. He recorded five wins, 11 pole positions, five fastest laps and only finished off the podium four times all year.

Despite leading the championship for large periods of the year Rosberg was unable to stop Hamilton’s charge for the title and their relationship was severely tested by a series of contentious incidents.

During Monaco qualifying, Rosberg aborted his final lap and took to an escape road which saw yellow flags waved at Hamilton, his nearest challenger. The Brit’s final lap was ruined and Rosberg duly took pole position but faced a stewards enquiry as he was accused of messing up Hamilton’s lap on purpose.
Rosberg was cleared of any charges and took his second victory of the season in Monaco to end Hamilton’s run of four consecutive wins. Wins in Austria and Germany helped Rosberg maintain his championship lead but in Belgium the tension between his team-mate erupted.

On lap two the pair collided as they battled for the lead and the incident forced Hamilton to retire while Rosberg finished second behind Daniel Ricciardo. The German was given a serious reprimand by the Mercedes team as he was given the full blame for the collision.

It proved pivotal for the championship as Hamilton went on a run of wins while Rosberg struggled. The German finally got the better of his team-mate in penultimate race of the season to set up a showdown in Abu Dhabi.

Rosberg grabbed pole in the desert but was overtaken at turn one by Hamilton. Further technical problems ended Rosberg’s contest for the title as he limped home in 14th place.

The German was full of admiration for his team-mate but will be disappointed after he saw a healthy championship lead get eroded during the second half of the season and will hope to make amends in 2015.

The start of the 2015 season was torrid for Rosberg as Hamilton won three of the four opening races, and finished in third behind his team-mate in Malaysia.

Tension grew between the two when Rosberg accused Hamilton of slowing down during the middle of the race, compromising his race. It wasn't until the Spanish Grand Prix where the German's season turned around, grabbing pole position and the win, his first of 2015.

Victory would fall into Rosberg's lap in Monaco when a miscalcuation by Mercedes during the pit stop left race leader Hamilton down in third, handing the win to Rosberg. His championship charge was back on course.

A second place at the Canadian Grand Prix would soon followed by victory again at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, continue to stay in touching distance to Hamilton for the title. A second place at Silverstone whilst his team-mate won in mixed conditions placed the gap to just 17 points heading into Hungary.

A bad start from the Mercedes drivers allowed both Ferrari cars of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to pass in the opening corners at the Hungaroring. The two Mercedes drivers locked horns when Hamilton went off on track after trying to pass Rosberg for third. The German took over second place after the safety car restart, passing a slow Raikkonen. Hamilton's incident with Daniel Ricciardo placed Rosberg in a confortable to take the championship lead. But a clash with Ricciardo resulted in a puncture for the German, dropping him down the field finishing eighth place. His championship lead chance vanished as Hamilton extended it with a sixth place finish.

The second half of the season for Rosberg would see him struggle against his teammate. A second place in Belgium and a retirement in Italy helped Hamilton extend his lead to 53 points. But Singapore left Mercedes struggling to the street track, enabling Ferrari and Red Bull to chance for victory. Hamilton's retirement at the Marina Bay Circuit allowed Rosberg to capture crucial points to reduce the gap to 41 points.

An important pole position came to Rosberg in Japan ahead of his teammate but on the opening lap, Hamilton took the lead at Turn 1, pushing Rosberg near off the track and down to fourth. A second place was on the cards once again for the German. In Russia, Rosberg's title aspirations began to fade away as another retirement due to a locked throttle pedal. His retirement dropped him to third in the championship as Vettel overtook the Mercedes driver heading into the USA.

The United States Grand Prix would be an important race for Rosberg to keep his title hopes alive with a 73 point gap. In a wet race, the Mercedes pair clashed once again at Turn 1, with Hamilton forceing Rosberg off track for the lead of the race. The two continued their battle on track for the lead alongwith the Red Bull's of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. With a handful of laps left, Rosberg had the race lead until a crucial error, having too much wheel spin and handing the lead to Hamilton who went on to win and claim his third title.

The aftermath of the race showed Rosberg disappointed to lose the title to Hamilton with the in-famous “cap-gate” occurred in the cooldown room, when Hamilton threw a cap at Rosberg, only to get the cap thrown back at him. The frustration from the German was clear as another title has slipped away from his grasp.

The final three races were better for Rosberg taking three wins in a row in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi to end the year off on a high, carrying momentum ahead of the 2016 season and ending 2015 with another second place finish in the championship.

The 2016 season started with Rosberg clinching four straight wins in a row in Australia, Bahrain, China and Russia. Whilst Hamilton suffered issues in qualifying and incidents during the race, Rosberg grew a clear lead ahead of his teammate as he aimed for that first title.

The Spanish Grand Prix saw team-mate Hamilton clinch pole but by Turn 1, Rosberg re-captured the lead, however a deployment issue at the start meant the German was down on power before Turn 4, allowing Hamilton to closely catch up. In a bid to hold off the lead, Rosberg defended his position hard as Hamilton went on the grass, only for the two to clash and removing both cars from the race.

A bad run of form and luck occur for Rosberg in the next races as the pressure from Hamilton soon mounted. Monaco and Canada saw bad results whilst Hamilton tasted victory at both races, but Rosberg secured victory once again in the first-ever race in Baku to keep his championship lead healthy.

But in Austria, another episode of the Mercedes drivers' clashing occured as the pair fought for the lead on the final lap. With Rosberg leading, but a hard charging Hamilton closing down and making a move for the lead at Turn 2. Rosberg clashed into the side of Hamilton but the German's mistake came out worse for him as damaged to his front wing meant he lost the lead to Hamilton. The German dropped down to fourth as a result of the accident.

At the British Grand Prix, he was subject of controversy as he came under investigation after he received detailed instructions over how to overcome an issue. The incident meant he was penalised for it and lost second place to Max Verstappen. His championship lead was now down to just 1 point. After Hamilton's double wins at Hungary and Germany, Rosberg was ninteen points behind his team-mate going into the summer break.

At the Belgian Grand Prix, Rosberg's fortunes of a championship looked promising after recent issues from Hamilton's side of the garage meant he was to take a new power unit, exceeding the amount he can use resulting in him starting last. Rosberg took easy wins in Belgium and Italy after claiming the lead following Hamilton's bad start.

In his 200th race in Formula 1, Rosberg offically passed Hamilton and re-taken the championship lead in Singapore after an intense battle between himself and Daniel Ricciardo. The German held off the Red Bull driver to claim the win.

Malaysia proved to be a decisive moment in the 2016 Championship as following an incident between Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1 on the opening lap, Hamilton cruised away in the lead whilst Rosberg had to claw his way back through the field. An engine failure for Hamilton whilst leading the race enabled Rosberg to increase his lead in the championship lead following a third place finished.

Rosberg clinched one more victory in 2016 in Japan as another start issue from Hamilton prevented any challenge. USA, Mexico and Brazil saw Rosberg claim second place finishes as he knew coming second best, and Hamilton winning the last remaining races would be enough to clinch the title. Heading into the final race at Abu Dhabi, it was set for another “duel in the desert” for the title.

With a twelve point lead heading into the final race, all Rosberg needed to do was finish on the podium if Hamilton wins the race to become champion. Having started in second, Rosberg followed Hamilton throughout the race to safety stay in second place. With a few laps left, Hamilton slowed down to allow other drivers to challenge Rosberg for second and third, in a final desparation for the title. Ignoring team orders to speed up, Hamilton continued to place pressure on Rosberg as Vettel and Verstappen closed down but couldn't find a way to pass the Mercedes. Hamilton won the race but Rosberg did enough to secure his first Formula 1 title in second place. His title victory marked the second time a father-son have won a world championship, with Graham and Damon Hill becoming the first.

Five days after his title victory in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg shocked the world when he announced his retirement from the sport at the FIA Prize gala, saying having accomplished his childhood dream of becoming a world champion with all the pain, sacrifices and hard work he has commited in his 25 year racing career.

In 2017, he spend time with his wife, Vivian and his two children in their home in Monaco. He regularly appears in the F1 paddock, charity events, sponsorship commitments and even appearing on TV as a ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. He also manages the career of Robert Kubica in a bid to make his return to Formula 1.

Currently now, Rosberg is a commentator for German TV RHL and making appearances with Sky Sports F1. The German also runs his own YouTube channel, running vlogs of an insight on the life he has outside of Formula 1.