Nico Rosberg

Rosberg: This year the whole team is supporting Hamilton

Nico Rosberg

On three occasions, from 2013 to 2015, Nico Rosberg stood on the top step of Monaco’s royal podium as a winner, but this year he will watch his home race from the sidelines and, like most F1 fans, is looking forward to the next chapter in the duel between his former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

Looking fresh and content, Rosberg spoke to ESPN from the sunny track-side of the street circuit he knows so well, “The Monaco Grand Prix is going to be the most emotional race for me to get back to because I have closed a chapter in my career.”

“I have all these amazing memories and emotions, now coming back to the race track and meeting all the people again and seeing all my fans here in Monaco where I always had so much support from them… coming back now as a World Champion is going to be amazing.”

Rosberg has made no secret that, although his helmet and race suit remains packed in a bag, he has enjoyed watching the first five grands prix from the comfort of his couch at home.

And said, “The races so far this year have been absolutely awesome for Formula 1, there’s been everything: excitement, stuff happening, they’ve been unpredictable, so we can’t wish for more.”

“Of course this year I am keeping an eye on all the drivers, at the moment Sebastian and Lewis are standing out as the best guys, they are doing a great job and of course other guys are doing a good job too. But for now its them.”

Rosberg is well placed to discern the subtle differences within the Mercedes team since his departure and the arrival of his replacement Valtteri Bottas.

Last year the Silver Arrows was divided into two distinct camps: Rosberg’s gang versus Hamilton’s crew. The tension was palpable and the title fight went down to the last corner of the last race in Abu Dhabi. The rest is history.

Rosberg observed, “It’s a great fight, Mercedes versus Ferrari, Lewis versus Sebastian. I think for Lewis it is also a very different situation, because last year he only had the support of half of the team behind him.”

“This year he has the whole team supporting him in this fight in trying to beat the other driver. So I am sure it is very, very different for him.”

One of the big reasons Rosberg decided to quit the sport, at the very top of his career and form, had a great deal to do with his family and spending more time at home with his wife Vivian and daughter Alaïa.

Thus, during the interview, he was clearly delighted to announce, “It’s also a very exciting time for us privately because Vivian is pregnant again, so its an incredible feeling and its great that together we can create this new human being and grow as a family.”

“It’s absolutely wonderful. And of course in my new life for sure I will take a little but more time to support Vivian also with our new baby and everything. It’s definitely a wonderful thing,” added the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion with a big grin.