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Nico Rosberg signs long term Mercedes F1 deal
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Nico Rosberg
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Jul 2014   |  9:11 am GMT  |  136 comments

World Championship leader Nico Rosberg has signed a “multi-year” extension to his Mercedes contract, it was announced this morning.

The 29 year old, who last week got married to his long term partner Viviane Siebold, has won three Grands Prix this season and leads his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton by four points.

The timing, just before the German Grand Prix, will give him a boost going into his home race. His rhetoric in speaking about the deal was heavy with references to Germany and to being German and the significance of that with Mercedes.

“This new contract brings us important stability and continuity for the future and I am delighted to be able to make the announcement in time for the home race of Mercedes-Benz and Nico in Hockenheim,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

“Nico has been part of the Silver Arrows project since day one and he has a big stake in the development of the team since 2010. His speed, commitment and focus have all helped to give clear direction and to drive the team forward. With his performances in 2014, Nico has demonstrated to the outside world what we knew already in the team: that he is one of the very top drivers in Formula One.”

XPB.cc

Rosberg is half German on his mother’s side, while his father 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg is Finnish. Rosberg Jr speaks five languages fluently with German his first language and he races on a German licence. He does not speak Finnish. German media colleagues say that while Rosberg is appreciated in Germany, he is not considered embraced by the fan base like Michael Schumacher was, for example. Schumacher, like Nigel Mansell in Great Britain, was able to galvanise blue collar supporters and mobilise them to travel across Europe to support him. That support is noticeably thinner on the ground these days and Hockenheim has struggled this year to sell tickets.

In the pre-war era Mercedes had an international line up of drivers but always with Germans, like Caracciola and Lang as the spine. In the post war era the German drivers like Karl Kling were overshadowed by overseas aces Juan Manuel Fangio and Stiring Moss. Rosberg is an important component of the Mercedes’ play in F1 and as he is able to match their highly paid international star Hamilton, it makes for an intriguing narrative.

One of these two men will be world champion this season.

“I am very proud to drive the Formula One Silver Arrow of the modern era. As a German, the heritage of Mercedes-Benz is very special for me, and I am proud to be able to represent the best car brand around the world,” said Rosberg. “It has been a difficult road to get to where we are now – but everybody kept believing and, thanks to the fantastic support from Mercedes-Benz, we are now leading the way in F1. There has been big progress during the past year, building up our structure, management and capability for the future. We have an awesome team and I am confident that we have the right people in place at every level. I’m looking forward to the next years together, when we will keep pushing to win even more races – and, hopefully, championships.”

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1

I would be happy for either of the Mercedes drivers to win it this year.

If Hamilton wins, it shows his God given talents of raw speed and a true racer, and that he has learnt despite having talents, he still needed to refine his racing and work style to bag the wins and points.

If Rosberg wins he truly deserves it for his hard work in matching Hamilton despite not having the same raw pace. I read a lot of people saying Rosberg doesn’t deserve it as much as Hamilton because he hasn’t got that natural talent, but why shouldn’t hard work be rewarded for? He knew he doesn’t have the same raw pace as his teammate, he knew he needed to find something and he did through studying Hamilton’s races and data. At least he worked on it, worked for it and made it happen. Had others like Kovolainen, Fisichella or Wurz they probably wouldn’t even get near Hamilton no matter what they did.

Just as long as no dirty tricks are played.

2

Hello, james I have recieved a few personal attacks in reply to one of my comments.

I’ve notice that you did not post them, I would like the opportunity to reply to them but I can not unless you post them.

3

No, because we don’t allow posts with personal attacks

Sorry

4

Please keep it that way forever. [mod]. You are the only community I post on with F1 matters James because you keep a close eye on comments. Well done and long may that continue.

5

That’s unfair. I had one lined up.

6

I remember seeing a video clip of young Nico in the stands cheering Raikkonen on ( think it was Hungary). Now the boy has grown up and has a German bride he has become German racers living in Monaco. I wonder if his dad & the Finns are slightly disappointed.

7

If he was a better driver…

8

No if they see him more a Finn

9

So Hochenhiem is struggling to sell ticket? Could it be due to the cars being so dreary this year?

10

Only just over 50,000 spectators attended on race day in Germany last year. That wouldn’t suggest this years cars are the problem.

11

I do not know for sure, and James should be able to clarify or we can ask Nico, but my guess is as follows:

Roseberg is a Swedish name (unlike Hakkinen, Raikkonen, etc.)

There is a significant population of people in Finland from Swedish origin, where Keke must come from

Nico was born in Germany from a German mother and was raised in Monaco because of dad’s fiscal convenience (as a lot drivers do)

He speaks 5 languages, German, French, English, Spanish (quite well I might add) and Italian

He probably never learned Swedish or Finnish because not many people use them and they all speak another language anyway

He works for a German brand that manufactures their racing cars in the UK and use fuel from Malaysia, while racing in 19 different countries, so who cares where he hails from, he is a truly global person if there ever was one, and a mighty fine driver as well

12

Nice post Ferggsa, a very fast driver and probably one of the most marketable drivers Globally.

No wonder Mercedes signed him up again

13

James, help! Can you get some input from Zak Brown, how does Nico stack up in marketing terms?

how important are the drivers in building F1 in new markets

And what are the crucial new markets for F1, the US or Asia and India?

Finally – Will you be able to restart your excellent podcasts, your insights and the input of technical, marketing and team specialists made them incredibly informative

14

Globally??? Outside of the F1 world, Germany and perhaps Finland, no one has heard of him, and no one will care. That’s the brutal truth.

Hamilton is your best bet for a globally marketable driver. Even then, it would be a tough row, especially in N.America. F1 still has a lot of work to do, to make the lasting breakthrough Stateside. Hamilton is F1’s best chance of that.

15
Craig in Manila

So this is a further extension to the extended contract that hit the news back in May ?

Or is this just official confirmation from Merc that the news from May was actually true ?

Confused.

16

Yeah, I guess he actually only signed on the dotted line this past Monday. It is a bit confusing.

17

If Nico pulls off a WDC win this season, it’ll be a 1 and done. He’s a talented driver, no doubt, but not one of the elite in the sport and he’s been blessed with the quickest car on the grid.

18

So is Nico now the highest paid number 2 in the pit lane? 🙂

Or does Kimi or Button still have that title?

19

Don’t recall Kimi on a huge salary payroll for his return to Ferrari. I doubt he or anyone can match his 2007-09 salary currently.

20

Congrats Nico!

21

I only skimmed the story above. I thought that Rosberg had signed an extension just a couple of months back? Must have dreamt this. Don’t really see him as a champion. TIme will tell. Whatever Mercedes say about letting their drivers race fairly, they can always do pit stop and strategy manipulation to put one ahead of the other. They are that far ahead of everyone else, they can play this the way they choose.

22

I cannot stand the way Hamilton has styled himself this year. He looks like a cartoon.

23

& what bearing does that have on his driving ability … zero

Its a fad you should go back to his GP2 days he had a similar look. Nobody mentioned it then.

24

Here’s to hoping you’re a female fan…… 😀

25

Roseberg’s father is Finnish, and therefore so is Roseberg.

This is not rocket science really.

Congrats to him on contract renewal.

26

There is a valid argument no matter how you look at it.

He should race under the FiA flag, just to clear up the matter 😀

27

Well, his mom is German, so he’s a dual national. But he lived in Germany for all of four weeks, went to school in Monaco and Nice, initially raced karts in France, and initially raced with a Finnish license.

The German references came thick and fast from him in the press release. “As a German, …” really?!? Saying it that way sounds so put on. The whole “more German than Bismarck” routine is positively cringeworthy. He’s trying too hard, like he’s totally bought in to the notion that being the German driver in the Mercedes is his best chance at the title.

JA, do we know any of the terms? I’ve heard £42m, $75m, €50m as the money total, and 2, 3, even 5 yrs as the length. Back at Monaco, it was said to be a 2 yr extension, to 2016. Maybe his increased pay starts right away, so a 2.5 yr deal.

Seems to me Lewis’ teammates do pretty well with their contracts. Button is supposedly on €16m/yr. Nico through Lewis’ data can see that there is a faster way (wonder how much in prior years he would argue with his engineers that there was no more to be had from his laps? Can’t argue when someone else has gone and done it). Still harder to be the knock-off, than the original.

Nico’s done well for himself here. Merc can’t very well pay him markedly less and still claim to view them as more or less equal, so if Nico’s leveraged them on that, then good for him.

Ricciardo has probably got itchy bum at the moment … at €2.5m he’s an absolute steal.

28

“initially raced with a Finnish license”

And stood next to Finnish Flag….

So clearly when Nico is not being CAPITALIST and focusing on the rewards, his allegiance lies with Finland.

29

Rosbergs mother is German, and therefore so is Rosberg.

This is not rocket science really.

Nico was born: 27 June 1985, Wiesbaden, Hesse, West Germany.

German.

30

Except that we are who our fathers are.

At least in most traditions, including Germany and Finland.

31

Well “Roseberg” may well be Finnish, but Rosberg is half-Finnish, half-German. See the difference there? I agree, it’s not rocket science.

32

“Roseberg’s father is Finnish, and therefore so is Roseberg.”

So what does that make Hamilton?

33

Lewis Hamilton was born in England, to English parents. That makes him British & English.

34

Lewis’ dad was born in the UK, they’ve lived there all their lives. I don’t think there’s a comparison. I’m sure Lewis could qualify for Grenadian citizenship, but I’m not sure it would’ve been bestowed upon him at birth.

Nico is a German citizen, quite clearly. But people will discriminate, and make judgments as to how German he is, etc. Even Nico has said in the past that he doesn’t feel the connection to Germany that other drivers clearly feel to their country. But that was then, and now he’s found religion.

Here’s where I break out the Canadian politics … there was a good and quite similar example here in the run-up to our last federal election. Michael Ignatieff had come back to Canada after something like 40 years in the UK, France, and then USA, to lead Canada’s venerable Liberal party, the default governing party in Canada for much of the 20th century. The governing Conservatives absolutely hammered him with a “Just Visiting” label, but even worse were some of his own utterances, which usually only confirmed that his view of Canada was still stuck in the 60s/70s when he had first left. Ignatieff led the Liberals to their worst ever result, in both seat and vote-percentage terms, for the first time reduced to 3rd party status in our Parliament.

Clearly voters had judged and discriminated. This for someone who had grown up in Canada, and only left when he was into his twenties.

Nico’s lived in Germany for all of 4 weeks, 4 weeks that he will have no recollection of. Seems to me Nico’s more like German-Canadians, or German-Americans, who have recently been getting their German on while the World Cup was on. If he had grown up in any other country other than tax-shelter Monaco (or similar microstates), no doubt he would’ve naturalized as a citizen of that country. It’s a pretty peculiar case.

35

Wait a minute – wasn’t Rosberg raised in Monaco and doesn’t he live there now? Seems he is very conveniently “German” when he resigns with Mercedes, thus leading to the PR spin and stories like this. Maybe the reason he isn’t embraced by German fans is that he is never there?

I’m not German but if I were, I might be offended seeing someone earning 25 million euro per year, paying no income tax and not living in my country stating they are a proud representative of Germany.

36

No F1 driver ever has lived in their home country on a regular basis. Especially when it comes to declaring earnings.

37

No F1 driver ever has lived in their home country on a regular basis..

You are absolutely correct (assuming you are referring to the the period of their lives when they are in F1). However, in Nico’s case he has never lived there and, for me at least, that is the difference. The Rosbergs hot-footed it back to Monaco within weeks of Nico’s birth and that is where he has lived ever since. Personally, I think it’s a bit convenient for him to claim he is German in these circumstances.

38

Most grand prix drivers like in, er, countries which have nice laws about not pillaging salaries…….

Nando is the odd one out – he moved back to Spain, while Mark W has lived in Aston Clinton, Bucks, for a number of years now. In fact, with the Commonwealth Games not far away, Mark technically could qualify to represent England in some sort of capacity as he has been based in the UK for many years now under the residency rule……………………..

James Hunt lived in Marbella during the mid to late 70s to avoid the whopping 83% tax rate in the UK at the time, so its not really a new issue regarding racing drivers.

39

Is this for real James, Alonso a resident of Dubai?

This is the first time I’ve seen this mentioned anywhere.

40

He has headed off there after races this year and someone said that’s what he’s doing now.

May be wrong, I’ll check

41

Isn’t Alonso in Dubai now?

42

His mother is German. If you had bothered to read the article, you would have figured that out for yourself. And he was born in Germany, so why does it matter where he was raised?

But yes, you’re right, how dare he call himself German. If he wanted to be considered German, little five year old Nico should have taken the initiative to move back to Germany on his own instead of following his father around.

By the way he gets paid by his employers, regardless of whether or not he is a “proud representative of Germany”. So what you’re saying is you’d be offended if a successful athlete proudly represented your country? I sure hope you’re not British then because Lewis might offend you… Let me spell it out for you just in case the point is missed. He, like Nico, also lives in Monaco and pays no taxes.

43

At some point within the next 2 years Seb Vettel will make a move. Question is will he follow his idol Michael Schumacher and join the Scuderia to take them back to glory ? Or will he join what could be his “natural home” at Mercedes Benz ? Ofcourse none of this matters if we have another recession and Mercedes decides to pull the plug the same way BMW and Toyota did.

44

What MSc did was he took Brawn with him, formed a formidable force in Todt, Brawn and Bryne, did huge amount of work and voila!

Vettel can’t do a MSc with Newey going to do something else other than F1 next year.

45
H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Do you really think Vettel would join Merc just to be crushed by Nico???

That would be his end. He must retire. NOW!!!

46

Given Vettel’s current performance, no one is excited about what he does in a year or two.

47

Germany should be proud that he considers himself German.It will be interesting to see how Lewis takes it, if Nico becomes world champion.

I suspect he will sign up to another team at the end of his current contract anyway.

48

A richly deserved extension. The salary I heard is 55€ million over three years. That would put him close to Hamilton’s current salary.

It would be nice if he was to have a championship before getting that kind of money, but he is doing his job and producing at a championship-level rate, so I think the money is fine and reflective of where he is in the current F1 pecking order.

49

Actually, I take that back. Hamilton is making GBP 20 million per year. He’s making a bit more than Rosberg will make.

50

James, again thank you for a great site. any word on the whole Caterham situation? Looks like Rossi is out which is a shame since word was he was showing promise.

51

Haas should get him for 2016.

52

Bslloons = Balloons 😀

53

Stories 🙂

54

Hi james,

@Phil Glass replied me per word press email but not-visible here yet. You might need to adjust the timing of the email response.

Thanks

55

Three years and 75 millions dollars that means 25 millions per year and an option of a fourth year and 30 millions dollars.

56

So this is the first piece of the puzzle to define the driver Market which is all about Alonso. Mark Hughes (sky1) is predicting Alonso to replace Hamilton at Mercedes for 2016…what do you think of this conjecture James? Are you planning a piece to cover the crazy season?

57

Hahaha!

Just as Ferrari becomes dominant.

58

Good for Nico bank account.

59

NICO is old enough to have a bank account? to get a marriage licence? to be a main signatory to legal contracts??

Well! Howaboutthat !!

60

I guess Alonso can kiss goodbye to the Mercedes seat as well! With Red Bull turning him down last season, Mercedes locking their future with Rosberg and Hamilton, looks like Alonso is going to end his career with two world titles won in 2005 and 2006, unless he takes the Mclaren plunge which is unlikely. Ferrari will never win another title until they get Ross Brawn/Adrian Newey or Aldo Costa/Bob Bell to the team.

61

Funnily enough, Aldo Costa was a Ferrari designer until he became the scapegoat for the mistake made in Abu Dhabi 2010.

Had they kept him, today’s Mercedes F1 cars would be painted red and badged as Ferrari.

62

Hi

I’ve got a strange idea Ferrari may win both titles next year if they can sort out their priorities and put their effort behind the better of their two current drivers.

63
H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Come on!!!!

Clearly Ferrari has only *one* driver.

The other guy, who pretends to be a driver, is being crushed at the moment (8×0).

64

We can only hope through the greatest adversity comes the strongest resolve to win when things (ie car) is more driveable

65

@Phil Glass

That’s what’s costing them now focusing all effort on 1 driver.

Ferarri need to build 2 cars that can compete, give both drivers equal opportunity at the WDC.

66

But who will be driving for the (rather knackered) Prancing Horse next year?

Will Nando walk the plank and seek pastures new? Will Kimi still be around? Apparently, the present driver line up at Scuderia Maranello has “cast iron” contracts for 2015……….but cast iron does go rusty and looses its strength – and so do supposedly unbreakable contracts.

The key to the 2015 driver market is Mr Alonso, and to paraphrase The Clash slightly. should he stay or should he go?

The silly season is just about to get even sillier!

67

Strange time to re-negotiate…..

Out of curiosity is the deal putting him on equal pay has Hamilton.

Would have made more sense to negotiate after he’d won the WDC.

With McLaren waiting with their open check book for Hamiltons contract to be up – Hamilton will be in a a strong position if he wins the WDC to negotiate for more money to stay within the Merc garage.

Could cause friction in the future.

But aslong has Nico is happy.

68

I think a lot of F1 drivers prefer a competitive car over a high salary. Heck even Kamui is driving for free this year just so that he can be in the F1 circuit.

Nico may be banking in the hope that Mercedes remain competitive long term.

69

I hear you fellas……. but!!

These guys are not only competing on track they’re competing for their place in history.

Unless like Eddie Irvine you have a vision beyond today (he always made it clear he was driving for the cash and cared not for beating Schumacher he’s after career success re-affirms his own ambition) it’s your position in history that most competitive sports people are driven by.

Rosbergs signing is weird.

The perception Hamilton is faster, better etc, him being a no.2 is something he’ll live with long after he stops racing.

If he does beat Hamilton to the title his lower wage will only give some the excuse he fluked it, got lucky etc. Worse than what we see now.

I would have waited.

70

As long as Merc has Lewis it’ll be difficult for Nico to out muscle them in negotiations.

You get the feeling it was an easy contract for Merc seal, no extraneous demands from Nico.

71

We’ll pay you several million Euros per year. We have the fastest car and have proven we are willing to give you a fair shot at the title. Yup, I don’t think I would be negotiating too hard either.

72

Nico and Lewis are both Monagesque.

If in doubt, ask for their passport.

73

If in doubt, ask for their passport..

That might tell you many things, but Monegasque would not be amongst them 😉

74

I wonder if a driver in recent times has ever lost his passport at the airport for one of the fly away races where drivers are unable to use their private jet, as is the case in Europe? Would cause a bit of a scene at the check in!

“Sorry sunshine, you may call yourself Fernando Alonso, but if you haven’t got your passport, you’re not boarding the plane!”

“Luca? LUCA! I can’t get to Singapore – I’ve lost my passport.”

“You WHAT?????????????? We pay you £25 million Euros a year and you can’t remember a little piece of documentation.!!!!.”

Obviously, that little scenario is made up, but I bet logistics for a fly away F1 race must be very stress inducing………………..

75

Neither have a Monaco passport because they weren’t born there. If they were to get a Monaco passport, they would have to give up their respective citizenships.

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