2016 F1 world championship winner Nico Rosberg has insisted that his future does not lie in Formula 1, be it racing or otherwise. Much to the disappointment of German F1 fans worldwide.
Rosberg, who pipped Lewis Hamilton to the 2016 title and promptly retired weeks after his success, has instead invested his time and energy into becoming a TV analyst – and seemingly an expert in the mind of former rival Lewis Hamilton – as well as an eco-entrepreneur.
As part of that eco-entrepreneurship, Rosberg has opted to launch his own team – Rosberg Xtreme Racing – for the new Extreme E off-road racing services.
Although the team will carry the Rosberg name, he insisted in a recent interview that his “active career is over” at the wheel and that he doesn’t “want to be a racing driver anymore”. Instead, the 35-year-old said that he finds his time shining light on the need for sustainability in sport “very fulfilling”.
When his Rosberg Xtreme Racing team was unveiled, Rosberg said he hoped the event would “inspire action” in the global challenge “against climate change”.
Rosberg preferring to fight for the planet rather than pole position
Rosberg did add that even if he was remotely tempted to get behind the wheel in the Extreme E series, his “lack of off-road experience” was a major barrier. He said that he would “have to practice so much” and would prefer to “win as a team” by finding some of the best off-road drivers in the world to do so.
With a 50/50 gender split agreed across all Extreme E racing teams, Rosberg has plumped for Swedish off-road racer Johan Kristoffersson and Australian, Molly Taylor.
There’s no denying Rosberg’s competitive spirit, even outside the F1 cockpit. Even away from the white-hot heat of a typical F1 raceday, Rosberg was always competing fiercely with rival drivers and team owners in other ways, including at the poker tables.
The Force India team were well-known for hosting cash games between the likes of Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Robert Kubica, and many others.
Rosberg was also involved in a televised poker tournament between F1 stars on an Italian television network – an event in which he came out on top. The German also got involved with PokerStars’ Ante Up for Africa initiative, alongside the illustrious group of legends and world champions that comprise Team PokerStars.
The $4,000-entry event, held in Monte Carlo, was the first Ante Up for Africa tournament outside of Las Vegas and Rosberg was joined by other professional athletes such as ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and former England rugby international Mike Tindall.
That competitive edge will almost certainly return for Rosberg in Extreme E as he will lock horns once again with Lewis Hamilton, who is also fielding an Extreme E team called X44. This time around, the challenge for Rosberg will be to manage his team to drive smarter than the team of his long-time rival.
All you need to know about the Extreme E Series
The Extreme E series was the brainchild of Alejandro Agag, a Spanish entrepreneur who has previously played an influential role in the growth of F1 coverage in his home country.
Mr Agag has also invested in his own GP2 teams, invested in Championship football team Queens Park Rangers and led the Formula E Championship. The Extreme E Series is his latest initiative – a competition that’s been formally sanctioned by the FIA and will use only electric-powered SUVs to race in some of the most remote parts of our world.
These carefully selected remote locations also happen to be some of our planet’s most endangered regions, at risk from the perils of climate change. It all begins in early April in the Saudi Arabian location of Alula, followed by Senegal’s Lac Rose, which is often the finish point for the Dakar Rally.
The series then heads north to the Arctic and Greenland, before concluding in South America, with Amazon and Glacier-themed events in Brazil’s Santarem and Argentina’s Ushuaia.
The race format will consist of two days of racing. Each day, every team will have one full battery charge of power to utilise, with every race driven one lap by the male driver and one by the female driver. All race results are still based on finishing position rather than a time trial format.