I won the F1 title then immediately quit aged 31 because I was scared – unlike other drivers, I'm no daredevil | The Sun

NICO ROSBERG has revealed his retirement from F1 came partly due to him being "afraid" in the car.

The German-Finn, 37, won the 2016 drivers' championship with Mercedes, pipping Lewis Hamilton by five points.

It proved to be his final race in the sport as he left F1 after a decade on the grid.

Many were surprised by Rosberg's decision to walk away when he had just reached the top.

But he is well aware, particularly when looking at the racing now, that he made the right move.

Speaking to Men's Health, he said: "Sometimes, looking at the circuits, I think it's good that I no longer compete. For example, in Baku you can reach 360km/h between walls.


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"Yes, there were moments in which I was afraid, because, unlike other pilots, I am not a daredevil."

He added: "I was afraid that I wouldn't be fast enough if I kept going. And that at some point there wouldn't be any team left that wanted me."

Rosberg suffered a huge crash in Abu Dhabi in 2012 when he collided with Narain Karthikeyan.

He came away unscathed from the incident, but reflecting on moments such as these make him all the more pleased he stopped when he did.

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He said: "It's better to stop too soon than too late, I wanted to be able to decide for myself."

Rosberg is now a regular pundit for Sky Sports' F1 coverage as he travels around the world following the sport.

The ex-Mercedes man went on to add: "I always lived from one career to the next and never asked myself if I had more than my passions.

"As a world champion and driver I was at the top, while in new projects you start from the bottom. That's interesting and instructive."

Meanwhile, ex-team-mate Hamilton, 38, claimed four F1 titles in a row after Rosberg's departure from the sport.

But he faces a huge battle to clinch a record-breaking eighth championship as Red Bull and Max Verstappen have emerged as the dominant force in the paddock.

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