New world champion Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement from Formula One.
In a video statement, Rosberg, who claimed his maiden title at the season-deciding race in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, said: "I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right."
Speaking at a later press conference in Vienna, Rosberg appeared visibly emotional as he spoke about his decision and looking forward to focusing on his role as a father.
Nico Rosberg's statement in full
Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion. 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. My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the team will start the process of finding a team-mate for Lewis Hamilton next week following the shock announcement from Rosberg.
Wolff said of Rosberg: "It's impossible to capture the essence of a person in a few short words. But Nico has a special combination of natural talent and fighting spirit that have brought him to where he is today.
"Throughout his career, people have thought he was on a golden path to success just because his father was a World Champion; in fact, I think in some ways that made the challenge greater - and meant he had to fight even harder with the weight of expectation on his shoulders.
"With Mercedes, Nico has been a relentless competitor, bouncing back from tough times in an inspirational way, and he earned the respect of the sport with his tenacity, his fighting spirit and his grace under pressure.
"Since 2010, he has poured competitive energy into our team and we have grown stronger because of it. We simply say 'thank you' for the incredible contribution he has made to our success, alongside two of the all-time great drivers, Michael and Lewis."