In collecting 317 points in 2014, Rosberg, who went 145 better of his accumulation in the previous year would gather 5 race victories, the most ever in his career at that point of time. Even then, being second placed on driver’s chart wouldn’t look any less glorious than his maiden triumph, the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, where he led every single lap in his race to the checkered flag.
But P2, for Rosberg, so often his shadow despite his stellar work-ethic and unshakable grit is a diminutive reflection that doesn’t quite tell the tale. Rosberg wasn’t satisfied finishing 2nd on driver’s standings in 2014 as Lewis took the crown.
He was to better himself next year. But going only 5 points ahead, collecting 322 in the process, punctuated by 6 ecstatic victories, signaled the intent was loud and clear. That the world championship was his to win wasn’t anymore a far-fetched possibility, rather, given his stellar form 2014 onward, a matter of time.
And finally when Nico’s big moment came, he owned it and decided not to be consumed by it
Implicit to Nico’s career where he’s often demonstrated that he can not only go very, very fast but win dominant races too is a timeline, that boasts of beautiful triumphs, having first burst on to the scene in 2006. It took him 3 long Williams years to clinch his maiden podium finish which came in 2008. His maiden win in 2012 meant he would have to endure 6 years before finally popping open the champagne at Shanghai, as Jenson and Lewis from McLaren stood beside him, drenched under the Nico splash.
That he accumulated 1024 of his 1594 Formula One points at Mercedes speaks of Rosberg’s humungous efforts to lift Mercedes to the glorious position where they find themselves today, literally obliterating their opponents that include the famous F1 team in history Ferrari and the imposing Red Bull.
Setting an admirable tonality to being World Champion:
Brandishing records, bettering his speed and accumulating milestones, Rosberg has done it all. In 2016, before he entered the title-decider at Abu Dhabi, Rosberg had set a new record for 27 consecutive 1-2 race finishes. That each of his 23 race victories have come at Mercedes, makes Nico nothing less than a prodigious prince to Hamilton’s emperor, at a time where it is clearly a Mercedes powered Formula One era. It also seems that- glories, heartbreaks, triumphs- all of which have been scripted with in iron-fist by the Brackley-based outfit have been intrinsically driven by Rosberg’s mercurial talent and cerebral brain.
The DNA of a racing driver, thanks to Nico Rosberg found an alluring new cadence, determined so much by composure as driven by determination, powered so much by a hunger to win as bettered by a desire to improve all the time. And in his resolve to emerge on top demonstrated by Rosberg’s clinical P2 finish at Abu Dhabi lies proof of his talent. It also whacks doubters; his critics who measure in thousands, although overwhelmingly shy of his fans who measure in millions today that Rosberg was more than the size of their innuendoes, something their petty ego’s could no longer accommodate.
And now, as he departs from a sport he has enriched, not only by clinching his maiden world championship, but by signaling that the ‘never say die’ attitude reigns supreme no matter what may come, Rosberg will be celebrated more than being missed. Off course, bowing out at his peak will only burnish his respect in wider sporting circles around the world.