Keke Rosberg explains his recent 'low profile'

Nico Rosberg (GER) with his father Keke Rosberg (FIN)
© XPB 

Keke Rosberg confirmed this week that he had intentionally stepped out of the Formula 1 limelight in recent years.

The 1982 world champion had been a familiar figure around the paddock even after his retirement from the sport. However, from 2010 he decided to step away and become a 'recluse', declining interviews and refusing to speak to the media.

That made it even more of a surprise when he agreed to take part in a special event at Monaco last weekend alongside his son Nico. The pair took part in a demonstration run in their respective world title-winning cars.

Interviewed by Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle, the senior Rosberg explained why he had decided to step away. He said that he had wanted to leave the spotlight to his son Nico.

"I've withdrawn completely out of the public eye since 2010 really," said the 69-year-old. "I know it was the right decision.

"I found myself being in the public eye much more than I should have been on my own merit, only to comment about [Nico].

"I said 'No, no, I can't continue with this'. I just categorically stopped everything and became a recluse!"

Instead of attending races in person, Rosberg would watch the Grand Prix events at home where he admitted that he was a "nervous" spectator.

Rosberg had previously managed the careers of drivers including Mika Hakkinen and JJ Lehto, but purposely decided not to do the same with his son.

"When I said 'Jump!', and he said 'Why?', I knew it was time to stop," Keke recalled. "That was my biggest achievement - that I'd let him go at exactly the right moment."

Nico Rosberg stunned the world of motorsport by retiring in 2016 just five days after winning the world championship. Keke said he'd had no advance warning of what was going to happen.

"I got the message from my wife, who had received a text message from Nico," he said. "The last sentence was, 'Please tell Dad too'. That's how I found out!

"I was a bit like I'd been punched in the stomach and the air was out for a while," he admitted. "Only slightly, but this is the instant reaction because I didn't expect it.

"But then you think it's his life, it's his choice and his racing," he added. "If he's decided it's time to go, then it's time to go."

Nico said that being back in his 2016 Mercedes last weekend had made his reconsider his decision to retire - but only for five seconds!

"When I got into the cockpit it was like coming home," he admitted. "But it went right away. I'm so happy."

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