D Driver


Genetics big part of F1 success says Rosberg

, Editor-in-chief

Former 2016 Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg believes that a combination of genetics, mind management and being less elf-enamoured than other drivers played a part in his success.

The German driver made a shock retirement from the sport after beating Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to the title in Abu Dhabhi last year. By doing so, he became the second son of a champion to win a championship himself. His father, Keke Rosberg, won the title in 1982.

"I just from my dad genetically inherited a natural gift to drive racing cars," said Rosberg in an event in London organised by Wired magazine.

"I’m a firm believer that genetics are quite a big part of this...I would probably say 66 percent genetics, 33 percent nurtured," he added. "I would go to that extreme. In our sport it’s very clear."

To pose an example, Rosberg believes that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 20, has had such great success so early in his career because of his genetics. "His dad (Jos) was a successful driver too and now his son is a successful driver because it’s the genes that pass on," he added.

However, this case doesn’t always stand. One prime example is Hamilton.

Hamilton after his title victory at the Mexican Grand Prix has become the most decorated British Formula 1 Driver of all time. But he comes from a family that has absolutely no background in motor racing.

Rosberg also mentioned that the narcissistic personality trait of F1 drivers is both a strength and a weakness. "The general Formula One driver is a big narcissist, in love with himself and he thinks he’s the best in the world and it’s always the other guy’s fault," Rosberg added.

"That gives you a certain strength in this crazy environment where you are judged by millions of people every little moment but it’s also a weakness because you don’t question yourself as much. I was more on the other side, the more sensitive, less narcissistic. Questioning myself all the time, trying to improve step by step."

According to Rosberg - dedication is a very important trait for a F1 driver. He himself hired a mental trainer and learned to simplify life. Furthermore, he practiced meditation to bring greater clarity and focus to his racing.

Following his career in F1, Rosberg is now looking at technology startup companies.