Nico Rosberg reveals huge Mercedes salary left on table after shock F1 retirement

Oliver Harden
Nico Rosberg kisses his trophy after being crowned World Champion at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg kisses his trophy after being crowned World Champion at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg has revealed that he left an eye-watering €100million Mercedes salary on the table with his decision to retire from F1 at the end of his title-winning 2016 season.

Rosberg was crowned World Champion in 2016, overcoming a tense season finale in Abu Dhabi to beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the title by five points.

Nico Rosberg missed out on €100m Mercedes salary with F1 retirement

Five days later, the German stunned the F1 world by announcing that he had retired with immediate effect ahead of the FIA’s prize-giving ceremony in Vienna.

Rosberg’s decision to retire came a matter of months after he signed a new two-year contract to remain with Mercedes until the end of the 2018 season, with Valtteri Bottas promoted from Williams as Hamilton’s new team-mate from 2017.

Appearing on the Business of Sport podcast, Rosberg – who has since carved out successful careers in media and business – has explained that he would have “easily” netted €100million if he had seen out the duration of his new Mercedes deal. recommends

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But the 38-year-old has insisted that he has no regrets about his decision to walk away from F1.

He said: “I had an existing contract for two more years and if I had simply continued driving for a few more years, that would easily have been 100 million.

‘I am so lucky that I have earned so much money with my sport that this money no longer played a role in my considerations.

“Because I knew that I could fulfil everything with what I earned anyway, including my children and grandchildren.”

Rosberg’s latest comments come after he revealed that he and Hamilton were forced by Mercedes to pay for accident damage after a series of collisions between the drivers as they duelled for the title in 2014 and 2016.

After Rosberg gave Hamilton a puncture at the start of the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, for instance, the former had to fork out a six-figure sum with the funds reportedly going to charity.

Rosberg said: “Because Lewis and I crashed, the team ended up making us pay for the damage.

“We had to sign a contract that from now on, if we crash, no matter whose fault it is, we will pay for the damage.

“I remember how much I had to pay that was £360,000 that I shelled out for one of these accidents. That was very painful.

“After that, we definitely made sure that we didn’t collide again.”

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