I haven’t voyaged this space too much in the past few months. But last Friday, suddenly everything changed. That desire, which had been lost somewhere in between the briskness in life and English rain, lit up in me again. Simply, I want to talk Nico Rosberg.
When the news broke out, the smell of ‘disbelief and surprise’ fragrance reached all over the world. For me, it reminded me one of my all time favourite songs, ‘Walkaway’ by Cast. The classic is all too easily spoken in the same wave length as the ultimate breakup song but for me, it always resembled a feeling of undeniable achievement, the vibe of reaching the top and saying good bye. Leaving someone to talk about the good things you have done when you were still loved. The song is a religious experience in it’s own right. Put into sporting context, in a nutshell, it oozes leaving as a champion.
Sport’s undeniable passion to carve out stratospheric moments would have suggested that after all oneday it would run out of steam. it would become predictable. Every script possible had been pre-owned that hop on a time machine and you would reach the original down the line. How further was I from the reality?
Rosberg may not be the only champion who left on the top of Mount Everest of their respective sport but the age in which he did it certainly adds a tinge of wonderment to it. He would never be Bernie Ecclestone’s poster boy or the charmer of F-1 mavericks who persevere to smell the throttle of danger, but in his own indomitable way, he had reached the pinnacle of his life.
Rosberg’s lasting legacy will be his class, something that his compatriot at Mercedes and greatest rival never had. The grandeur in which he conducted himself in the roller-coaster that is the elapsing of the F-1 calendar. The calmness he displayed in the past two seasons at coming up short in the championship which mattered to him the most, the bane of his existence.
Those shortcomings render itself to a bigger picture. A picture where how he conjured all that pain and chill wind and turned it into a final assault. “For 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’, to become Formula 1 world champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it.”
It’s no wonder he must have entered this season resembling Damocles sitting under that sword, for the pressure was mounting. Another failed attempt would mean that he would have to prolong for one more year and when you put that into narrative, this title makes it even more special. The emotional stress of having to defend the title was obviously not a bullet he was willing to take, no one could hold that against him. No one can, either.
None of us have been lucky enough to reach that checkered flag with the realisation that you had just become the top man in this complex mixture of physics and driving. When Rosberg reached the finish line at moon lit Abu Dhabi he had just achieved that. And then he ‘walked away.’ For a man who had always planned his F-1 closure that way, this was a dream ending.
Rosberg leaves with a legacy hard to beat. A classy man, a new dictionorial example for ‘endurance’ and most of all a World Champion.
P.S- Nico, If you ever wanted to comeback, don’t look beyond this.