Nico Rosberg dispels Wolff myth about Mercedes exit
Nico Rosberg said it was “never, ever” true that team manager Toto Wolff was happy to see him again at Mercedes.
Just days after winning the World Championship for the first time in 2016, Rosberg publicly announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end-of-season FIA awards gala saying he had “climbed my mountain. , I am on the top and therefore straight “.
Given the tense and toxic atmosphere at Mercedes created by Rosberg and his friend turned nemesis Lewis Hamilton, there was always a lingering suspicion that Wolff was happy Rosberg decided to hang up his helmet and driving gloves.
But, in an interview with Motorsport Total, Rosberg categorically said that was not the case and, in fact, efforts were made, especially by Niki Lauda, to persuade him to change his mind.
“It was never true,” Rosberg said.
“[We] had the best combination of drivers … and of course it would have been easier if I had continued.
Rosberg also revealed that, in an ideal world, he would have delayed announcing his retirement until January 2017 to allow him to fully enjoy becoming Formula 1 world champion.
But, he ultimately decided to notify Mercedes as soon as possible so that work could begin immediately to find his replacement.
“I would have loved to celebrate the world title for another month and then say at some point, ‘I quit,’” commented Rosberg.
“If it were up to me, I would have done it in January. Another month of partying as the world champion, then Christmas and so on, then at some point in January, say, ‘I’m quitting.’ “
“I only did it for Toto and for the team, period.”
Meanwhile, Wolff has said over the past month that he will never allow another teammate war to happen under his watch at Mercedes.
“It was very difficult because I came into the team as a newcomer to F1 and Nico and Lewis had been in the sport for a lot longer,” he told the High Performance podcast.
“But I was still able to create an environment where they had to respect the team, sometimes with an iron fist, and they understood that they couldn’t let us down, they couldn’t let Mercedes down.
“If the debriefing room is full of negativity because the two pilots are hostile to each other, it will trickle down to the energy in the room and that’s not something I will ever allow again.
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