New world champion Nico Rosberg retires from Formula One

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates winning the World Championship with his wife Vivian after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg celebrates winning the World Championship with his wife Vivian after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire
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New Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement from the sport with immediate effect.

The 31-year-old German won his first and only world title on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the title by five points.

Rosberg has said that he is not willing to make a similar sacrifice again having achieved the ultimate prize in the sport.

In a statement released on his Facebook page he said: “I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right.

“This season, I tell you, it was so damn tough. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fuelled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before.

“My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrows.”

His retirement leaves an empty race seat at Mercedes that will need to be filled before pre-season testing for the 2017 season begins in Catalunya in February.

Most of the top drivers, including the likes of Sebastian Vettel, have long-term contracts with their current teams, and would cost Mercedes a lot to sign. German youngster and Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein, who is part of the Mercedes young-driver programme, could be in line for a promotion far earlier in his career than expected.