Keke Rosberg Breaks 6-Year Media Silence Following Nico’s F1 Championship Victory
“The time had come to take a step back,” the 1982 F1 World Champion said.
Following Nico Rosberg's taking of the Formula One World Champion title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sunday, his father—former F1 world champion Keke Rosberg—came out to speak to the media for the first time in six years.
Papa Rosberg took the championship win for Williams back in 1982; now, 34 years later, his son is following right in his footsteps. But even though Nico has been racing in F1 since 2006, for much of his career, his father has stayed out of the spotlight and away from the press.
"I haven't made one interview since January 1 2010," Keke told Autosport.
When asked about his racing history in comparison to Nico's successes, Keke said, "My wins don't count anymore. They are such a long time ago, I could have been a dentist. It's all about Nico and his performance and success now."
It was previously unclear why the 1982 F1 world champion felt the need to stay away from media appearances for the past couple of years, but in interviews following Sunday's race, he spoke up about his reasons. "The time had come to take a step back," Keke said.
Keke decided not to be at the track or with Nico during the race weekend, but rather at "a hotel and partially at a friend's house" somewhere else in Dubai, Keke told Autosport. He made the trip to the Yas Marina Circuit after the checkered flag dropped. "We discussed with Nico and I said, Look, I can't come, it doesn't work'. So that's why I didn't come here."
Keke also explained that his son didn't know where he was during the race, but was aware he was somewhat nearby.
Though he wasn't trackside, watching the race was still an emotional experience for Keke. The father explained he had to take "a deep sip from my beer" while thinking "this [race] was going to get hot."
Despite Sunday's unusual post-race interviews, from the sounds of things, it doesn't appear Keke will be changing his silent cheerleading strategy following his son's win. "I've grown used to the role, and my role is one of private support," Keke said.
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