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Nico Rosberg 2016 F1 World Champion: A word with Keke

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Nico Rosberg 2016 F1 World Champion: A word with Keke
Nov 27, 2016, 9:29 PM

Keke Rosberg has the unique accolade of being the only F1 world champion to witness his son winning a World Championship.

Keke Rosberg has the unique accolade of being the only F1 world champion to witness his son winning a World Championship. He watched the race at a friend's house in Dubai, an hour down the road from Yas Marina circuit and arrived in the circuit soon after Nico clinched the title by finishing second.

He has deliberately stayed out of the limelight since Nico moved to Mercedes in 2010 and hasn't given any interviews since then. But standing outside the Mercedes team area in the Abu Dhabi paddock two hours after the race, he decided to speak to a group of us.

Keke Rosberg

Describing his son's success as "the hardest fought championship ever" he pointed to the dedication that had brought him to the world title at the age of 31,

"Lewis is in LA, he's here, there and everywhere. One guy is concentrating on only one thing," he said.

"It's the nutrition, the time difference, training, emptying the brain at the right time. And it seems to have worked."

"I thought this day would come. I had a rule that there are three things you have to achieve; win your first race, win Monaco Grand Prix and win the championship. Now he can put a cross against that and say 'been there done that'.

"I admire him for his mental strength and commitment. It's 100% and it's got nothing to do with how we went about being an F1 driver. Absolutely nothing.

"The last three years he has been under tremendous pressure because you are fighting for the win every weekend and for the championship every year and retirements hurt you every time. But that's the nature of this sport.

"If you want to win a championship, you can't have a lot of bad luck," he added.

Rosberg Sr won the world championship in 1982 with Williams, 34 years before Nico. By co-incidence the only other father and son champions, Graham and Damon Hill's championships were also 34 years apart.

Nido Rosberg

Asked how he felt when Nico had to take a big risk and overtake Max Verstappen, Keke said, "I took a deep sip from my beer and thought, 'This is going to get hot,'"

As for whether the championship success will raise his son'e game next season, Keke felt that this is likely,

"A happy man performs better than an unhappy man, so yes I think he'll raise his game a but next year like everybody does. It probably will happen, it goes with the game."

Nico revealed that Keke sends text messages on the Saturday of every Grand Prix weekend such as "Pedal to the metal".

Asked about this he said, "It's difficult. You have to say something, so what do you say? Don't spin in the first corner. You can't do that! You are trying to keep spirits up and enjoy. This is a sport, so you must enjoy it. The pressure must always be less than the enjoyment."

[After the group interview was over, Keke revealed that he is a regular JA on F1 reader. So you are in good company! ]

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