Retiring Nico Rosberg didn't know if he "had the balls" to quit F1

Retiring world champion Nico Rosberg admits he wasn't sure he "had the balls" to follow-through with his decision to quit Formula 1

Retiring Nico Rosberg didn't know if he "had the balls" to quit F1

The German first considered stopping at the end of 2016 following his Japanese Grand Prix victory, which was when the destiny of the title fight was in his hands, no matter what rival Lewis Hamilton could produce over the final four races.

Mercedes in no rush to replace Rosberg

Rosberg knew ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday that it was likely to be his final race, and he admits he had to think very hard about making sure it was the right decision following the title decider.

"The thing that gave me most clarity before Sunday's race was the thought of 'I'm actually going to win here today, this is going to be my last race so let's take it all in'," Rosberg said at the FIA Prize Giving where he announced his retirement on Friday.

"It took away some of that massive pressure, so that was very nice.

"That finished as soon as the lights went off because after that it was the most intense and crazy and tough race of my life.

"Then it was just a process on Monday, I didn't know if I had the balls so it took a bit of time.

"But I'm going through with it and I'm feeling great."

Rosberg added that he made sure Hamilton learned of his decision first-hand by telling his rival the news himself.

"I informed Lewis myself because it's the right way to do it," he said.

"We've had such a battle and so many moments fighting each other so I thought it was correct to let him know of my decision.

"I had to do it a bit quick, so I sent Lewis a message. Maybe we'll have a discussion about it tonight.

"It has been so short notice because the priority was to let the team know as quickly as possible so that was a bit of a compromise for me, that I wasn't able to do a perfect job in taking enough time to notify everybody that was close to me."

When asked if he could be tempted to return to F1 in the future, Rosberg was adamant that he would not consider a comeback.

"Definitely not," he said. "Finished. Done. End of story."

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