Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement from Formula One just days after winning his first world championship title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The German Mercedes driver’s decision was confirmed by BBC Sport’s Andrew Benson:

Rosberg, 31, released a statement on his Facebook page in which he said he felt it was the right time to retire having “climbed my mountain”:

He sealed the 2016 title at the weekend as he beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton by five points despite coming second to the Englishman at the season-ending race.

Rosberg won nine of the season’s 21 grands prix and held off a late surge from three-time champion Hamilton to claim the title after four consecutive second-place race finishes.

Per BBC 5 live Sport’s Jack Nicholls, he was not expected to retire:

Benson hailed the decision given the effort Rosberg exerted in winning the 2016 championship:

Rosberg made his F1 debut for Williams at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006. He joined Mercedes for the 2010 season and came second to Hamilton in the championship in both 2014 and 2015.

In finally claiming the F1 title, Rosberg emulated his father Keke, who triumphed in 1982.

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