I unearthed profound insight from several comments Rosberg made after he announced his retirement. Rosberg indicated that after a GP during which he handed victory to Hamilton after he made a mistake while leading the race, he spent two days locked in a hotel room, alone with his thoughts.
He also indicated that it was not an experience which he enjoyed.
Rosberg is an adult. His error compelled him to undergo what my caucasian neighbors refer to as grounding. If it tells you nothing else, it reveals the magnitude, the obese nature, of the burden of expectation or ambition which he carried.
For a plethora of reasons which the aficionados can recall, 2016 presented Rosberg with his best chance of defeating Lewis Hamilton in the World Championship. Rosberg knew that on any given day, in similar machines, performing at the optimum level determined by a neutral team, he will be confined to determining the color of the exhaust from Lewis’ machine!
Xavia M.A.D. Murray said he listened to the F1 machines, in person, at the track (Texas), and none of the machines could echo the sounds of the Mercedes machines – is there a lesson to be learnt there?
So in 2016, Nico got an advantageous deck of cards which presented on a gilded platter, the opportunity to separate himself from the monkey on his back. As fate would have it, Hamilton fought like a proud Spanish bull and at the final round in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Nico Rosberg’s wife, he made it abundantly clear that in any heads-up race involving the two, he was champion.
But, Hamilton’s victory was not enough to preclude Rosberg from claiming that which he sought.
It is truly my view that instead of being overcome with deep-seated, frolicking joy, when he returned to his hotel room, Rosberg was swamped by calm, comforting but terminal winds of relief. Relief of gargantuan proportions.
Rosberg, after accepting that it was real, that his nemesis who wore an impregnable armor of invincibility was finally defeated and when he assessed his current standing and what he desired most of all, moving forward, devoid of the confetti and the camera-initiated flashing lights, he decided that he possessed a fortified reluctance to subject himself and his family to that which was required to remain at the top of the pile. As such, he chose a graceful, noble exit.
At Abu Dhabi, Rosberg concluded a successful drive to win the championship. Unfortunately, shortly after his historic accomplishment, Rosberg retired, thus confirming the obvious – he lost his drive!
The argument that Rosberg was handed a specific set of circumstances which gave him an unfair advantage over his team-mate can be understood. It should also be clear that he could not have been a part of a conspiracy to ensure that a German won the World Championship for a German team because it has been revealed that no one on the team was aware of his intention to retire (if he won).
The fact that the team is in scramble-mode now, seeking the ideal team-mate for Hamilton, is adequate confirmation of this fact.
The argument can also be reasonably made that because he knows Hamilton is superior and he will disburse Maleficent’s wrath in 2017, retiring as the World Champion is a masterful stroke. Arguments, like drones, will fly at intriguing speeds and the term cowardice will be prominent at times.
But, bearing in mind, all that which is attached to being a Formula 1 World Champion, it cannot be overlooked that Rosberg’s decision to retire a few days after accepting the crown took what must be said to be tremendous courage.
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer