04 December, 2016
Going into the race on Sunday, he knew it could be the last one of his life. I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time... and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life.
He said he made the decision in the aftermath of his championship triumph.
Under F1's rules, a driver does not formally become world champion until he attends the governing body's annual end-of-season function, which this year took place in Vienna, with Friday's event taking on extra significance for the retiring Rosberg.
Mercedes say they will start the search for his replacement next week, with one name already being bandied about - Mercedes' reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who drove for Manor in his debut season in 2016.
Rosberg, who only signed a two-year extension to his Mercedes contract in July, made the shock revelation in Vienna as he prepared to receive his champion's trophy at the FIA prize-giving ceremony five days after winning the title.
By no means was the auto that he drove considered good enough to finish in the points tally, let alone on the podium but Rosberg ploughed his way through the odds and finished seventh in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Often, it was the moments when Nico Rosberg had his racing suit rolled halfway down that he appeared most at ease during his Formula One career.
"For 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my "one thing", to become Formula 1 world champion", he added. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target.And now I've made it. "I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right", Rosberg said on his Facebook page. But in the end, I see it similarly, if he finds it right, that's what he should do.
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We're talking about his training with the team, has been this week. So, winning that game in hand on Sunday is paramount.
The 30-year-old Brit, who has known Rosberg since they were kids, was not very surprised by his former teammate's decision claiming that he has known him for a long time and that with a family to focus on, it seems like a good decision.
"I never give up", he said. The switch to Mercedes will be an appealing one to Vettel and for the German constructor, too.
"The whole story of the last four years has been awesome - the time of our lives", said Ogier. His father deliberately chose not to teach him Finnish, concentrating on those languages which would be more important for his son's racing career.
Rosberg narrowly held off his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for this year's Driver's Championships.
After watching Vivian nearly single-handedly raise Alaia so that he could focus on achieving his lifelong dream of winning the title, Rosberg chose to pack it in.
The decision not to compete in 2017 suddenly opens a race seat at the dominant world champions Mercedes but team boss Toto Wolff reacted calmly to having a new problem to solve. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me.
Fast backward 34 years, to 1982, perhaps the last time - before 2014 - that I was interested in F1 for a whole season, as opposed to the odd race. "The sport will miss him and I wish him all the best".