Keke Rosberg explains why he became an F1 'recluse'

Keke Rosberg has revealed that he avoided Formula 1 during his son's racing career because being a "recluse" was better than being asked questions about Nico

Keke Rosberg explains why he became an F1 'recluse'

The 1982 world champion purposely retreated from F1 in 2010 and did not give a major interview until late-2016 in Abu Dhabi, after his son won the title.

Nico convinced his father to drive a 1982 Williams in Monaco last week as part of a joint-demonstration, and the two filmed an interview together afterwards that has been posted on the ex-Mercedes driver's YouTube channel.

Interviewer Martin Brundle comments in the video that Keke's presence is rare because he has been camera shy, to which the 69-year-old replies: "I am! I've withdrawn completely out of the public eye since 2010, really. I know it was the right decision.

"It mainly came because active drivers were very difficult to get. So, [journalists say] 'dad's there, he's got nothing to do, let's ask him'.

"I found myself being in the public eye much more than I should have been on my own merit, only to comment about him.

"I said 'No, no, I can't continue with this'. I just categorically stopped everything and became a recluse!"

Keke mainly followed his son's progress by watching on television at home as a "nervous" supporter, but it was not the first time he backed away from Nico's career.

He said the focus when Nico was racing karts was "spending weekends with your boy and letting him go as far as your wings carry you".

He then opted not to manage him in the way he did Finnish drivers JJ Lehto and Mika Hakkinen, which Nico said he was grateful for and said came at the "perfect" time.

Keke said: "When I said 'Jump' and he said 'Why?', I knew it was time to stop.

"That was my biggest achievement, that I'd let him go at exactly the right moment."

The second-generation Rosberg retired from F1 after winning the title in 2016.

Keke revealed he found out about Nico's decision to retire indirectly, but said he now sees "a very happy son" and "that's what counts".

"I got the message from my wife, who had received a text message from Nico," said Keke.

"The last sentence was, 'Please tell Dad too'. That's how I found out.

"When I retired my best friends said why are you stopping, it's too early, you're making so much money and you're having fun. It's a very personal decision.

"When Nico retired I was a bit like I'd been punched in the stomach and the air was out for a while.

"This is the instant reaction because I didn't expect it. But then you think it's his life, it's his choice and his racing.

"If he's decided it's time to go then it's time to go."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Daniel Ricciardo lacks strong F1 options for 2019
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Daniel Ricciardo lacks strong F1 options for 2019

Next article

Honda says it needs to be careful with F1 engine upgrades

Honda says it needs to be careful with F1 engine upgrades
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022