Nico Rosberg made his Formula 1 debut at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, winning for the first time at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix and finally winning the World Championship on the occasion of his 206th grand prix start.
This is an overview of his career as well as some quirky facts:
Roberg was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on 27 June 1985 (31 years old) and is the son of Finland’s 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, who won his title with Williams, and German mother Sina. He was born four days after Keke won the 1985 USA-East Grand Prix in Detroit.
Rosberg grew up in Monaco and still lives there with his wife Vivian and daughter Alaia. He speaks five languages but not Finnish.
He and Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, a triple world champion, were team mates in go-karts in 2000. Rosberg tested for Williams in 2004, aged 17 and before he had his driving licence. He declined a place to study aeronautical engineering at London University’s Imperial College.
Rosberg made his Formula 1 race debut with Williams in Bahrain in 2006, scoring points with seventh place and setting the fastest lap, after becoming the first GP2 champion the previous season. He ended 2006 in 17th place overall.
In 2007 he was ninth overall. The following year he stood on the podium for the first time, a third place in Australia, but ended up 13th at the end of the season. In 2009, his last year with Williams, he finished seventh overall.
Rosberg joined Mercedes — who had bought champions Brawn GP — for the 2010 season and partnered seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher. The younger German scored 142 points to Schumacher’s 72.
Rosberg also outscored Schumacher in the following two seasons, taking his first pole and grand prix victory in China in 2012. In 2013, Lewis Hamilton replaced Schumacher and finished the season fourth overall to Rosberg’s sixth.
In 2013, Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix exactly 20 years after his father had triumphed there. In 2014, he had five wins — the same number that Keke had in his entire career — from 11 pole positions and finished overall runner-up to Hamilton.
He was again championship runner-up to Hamilton in 2015 but ended the year strongly with three straight wins. He picked up where he left off in 2016 by taking the first four races, the first driver since Schumacher in 2004 to do that, while Hamilton suffered various problems.
Rosberg became the 33rd driver to win a Formula One world championship crown following a dramatic and historic race at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, becoming the third German to win an F1 title, following in the footsteps of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
Between them, that trio account for 12 of the last 24 drivers’ championships. Before Schumacher, Germany hadn’t won any of the previous 43 championships.
Germany now have three F1 world champions – the joint-second most in history, level with Brazil (Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna) and Finland (Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen).
Speaking of Keke, Nico’s title triumph is only the second time in history that a father and son have been world champions. In total 13 driver-son combinations have raced in F1, but the only other duo to achieve the feat are Graham and Damon Hill.
Incidentally Keke, like Nico, won his title with the number 6 on his car just like his son.
Rosberg had to wait for his title breakthrough moment: his record of 11 consecutive seasons before becoming champion is the second longest in history, behind only Britain’s Nigel Mansell, whose crowning triumph came during his 12th full year in the sport.
Rosberg has contested 206 Grands Prix in total – the highest number of career starts before becoming champion. Next up on the list is Mansell, with 176. Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen also feature in the top four in this category, achieving their first championship crowns after 169 and 120 starts respectively.
The Mercedes driver’s performance this season has been remarkable. Of 1,268 racing laps, he has spent 957 – or 75 percent of his season – inside the top three.