Just days after securing the Formula One World Championship in his Number Six Mercedes car, Nico Rosberg shocked the world by announcing his immediate retirement from the sport. Despite having signed a new three-year deal with the team just months earlier, the 31-year-old German decided that it was time to call it quits on a twenty-five year motorsport career.
There has been much and mixed reaction to the news. Some have criticised Rosberg for failing to defend his title and leaving his team one driver down without any prior warning as they head into preparation for next season’s campaign. However, the majority have leapt to the German’s defence, positing that this move is in fact best for both Rosberg and Mercedes.
Becoming the Formula One World Champion was not something that simply happened overnight. As has already been mentioned, Rosberg’s life in motorsport began a quarter of a century ago. Since he first started karting at the age of six, the pursuit of success has been an all-encompassing goal. As all Formula One drivers do, Rosberg has been forced to make sacrifices to try and achieve the ultimate aim of becoming world champion.
Having now achieved that, it is clear that Rosberg feels he has come to the end of a journey. If this is the case, then his departure from Mercedes should be seen as a blessing on both sides. To achieve greatness needs full commitment and dedication to the cause. As much as his departure must come across as shocking to many involved at Mercedes, it must surely be seen in time as the best move for all involved.
Many wouldn’t have plumped for such a brave decision. Instead of seeing out the remaining two years of his contract, racing with his head arguably not in the game, Rosberg can now leave at the pinnacle of his profession, having achieved what he set out to do in his career. It is also assuredly better for Mercedes heading forward that they aren’t contractually shackled to a driver whose heart is clearly not in the sport any more. This for them is now a chance to rebuild and make a fresh start.
However, that is not to say that Rosberg’s career with the German manufacturer is now totally over. It is possible that Rosberg could continue on as a Brand Ambassador of some form. He is still the Formula One World Champion, which would assuredly mean that he still is worth a great deal to manufacturer from a marketing perspective. This would surely be the same for some of Mercedes’ main sponsors too. For the likes of Petronas, Hugo Boss and Qualcomm, having Nico Rosberg as a company poster boy whilst he remains World Champion is just good business sense.
On a personal level too, Rosberg has plenty of endorsements to rely on, such as his deals with the likes of Thomas Sabo. In fact, a move away from the world of motorsport could open more doors for the 31-year-old, with conflicts of interests between Rosberg, his team and his sport no longer factoring into any future projects that the German may wish to take on.
So all in all, Nico Rosberg’s retirement appears to be the best move for all concerned. Once the initial shockwaves have died down, both Mercedes and Rosberg will be able to push ahead with their own pursuits. Here at SQN, we understand that partnerships require commitment from both sides to be successful. If there is ever any doubt, it is always best to be honest and open and do what is right for the benefit of all those involved.