It is easy to deduce that Nico Rosberg’s best time as an F1 driver came when moving to Mercedes from Williams.
The last three years of his career were easily his best and on finally reaching the peak of the sport as 2016 champion, Rosberg stunned the sport by calling it a day.
It was a premature end to a career filled with thrills and that promised many more.
But what we are left with, we look back upon fondly so here are our five favourite moments from Rosberg’s ultimately fleeting F1 career.
5. BRILLIANT BAHRAIN DEBUT
Rosberg lived up to the faith of Frank Williams and in his very first race impressed alongside team-mate Mark Webber. Yes the season did not end the way Rosberg and Williams would have liked but nevertheless Rosberg’s entry to the F1 stage was impressive. The 21-year-old became the youngest driver in F1 history to register a fastest lap and finished in the points in seventh.
4. BREAKING OUT IN 2013
After finishing 9th in the 2012 season, Mercedes and Rosberg geared up for a more competitive campaign. With two Grand Prix wins and a consistent show throughout the year, Rosberg finished sixth in the drivers’ championship. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished two places above as the pair showed signs of what was to come.
3. HAMILTON RIVALRY INTENSIFIES
The 2014 F1 season made it apparent early on that either of Hamilton or Rosberg was going to win the world title thanks to their Mercedes, armed with the F1 W05 Hybrid. With 10 second-place finishes and five wins, Rosberg still could not beat Hamilton to the crown. Hamilton edged out Rosberg by just 67 points and had to settle for second but the improvements from both individual and team were clear.
2. SO CLOSE, SO FAR
Rosberg might have expected to break the curse and finally get the World Championship in his trophy cabinet but destiny eluded him yet again in the 2015 season. With a couple of third-place positions and an average mid-season, he was always playing catch-up to Hamilton. He did bounce back in the latter stages with three wins out of three at Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi but it was too late by then.
1.WORLD CHAMPION AT LAST
Debate raged over this year’s campaign, largely centering around whether Rosberg was a worthy champion. The rivalry with Hamilton reached fever pitch, the pair and their team at loggerheads for the majority of the year. But it was Rosberg who reached the pinnacle and, having “climbed my mountain”, he decided to call it a day. The 2016 F1 Driver standings will always show Nico Rosberg at the top.
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