Nico Rosberg has sensationally announced he is to retire from Formula One with immediate effect.
Rosberg spoke of his decision before being officially crowned as Formula One world champion tonight in Vienna at the FIA's annual prize giving ceremony.
"I took my decision on Monday evening," Rosberg revealed on his Facebook page. "After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were (wife) Vivian and Georg (Nolte, from hismanagement team), followed by Toto (Wolff)."
"The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation. But Toto understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me. My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrows.
"Now, I’m just here to enjoy the moment. There is time to savour the next weeks, to reflect on the season and to enjoy every experience that comes my way. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life and see what it has in store for me."
This feels right
Rosberg's decision comes just five days after he was crowned world champion in Abu Dhabi.
The former Williams man says that after achieving his dream, it "feels right" to walk away from Formula One.
"Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my 'one thing' to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I've made it," he said.
Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff has labelled Rosberg's choice as brave, but fully understands his motives.
"This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character," said Wolff. "He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as World Champion, having achieved his childhood dream. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me."
15:10 - 17:10