A year or so after winning the Formula 1 World Championship, and then promptly retiring, Nico Rosberg has got a bit of time on his hands.
While you might think he’d keep himself busy by hurtling around the German countryside in a powerful AMG Mercedes (he doesn’t, he drives a Mercedes GLC 220d) or piloting helicopters into Monaco (he prefers to rent a Renault Twizy), the reality is that he’s actually designed some cars. Toy cars.
The range of three cars is being released to coincide with Hot Wheels’ 50th birthday, with Rosberg bringing some F1 inspiration to the range. There’s a turquoise theme running across them all, as that’s Rosberg’s racing colours, with two pretty conventional race cars and one looking like something from the future.
“I’ve done this to encourage kids’ development, to challenge themselves and overcome challenges” explains Rosberg. “That’s what I did in my life; one of my challenges was called Lewis, where I didn’t give up and overcame the challenge. We’re trying to give the message about playing and having fun but at the same time pushing personal development in strong ways.”
To celebrate the launch, Rosberg took to Silverstone with an Aston Martin and a series of passengers, from this writer to far more deserving young competition winners. The fuel-burning, tyre-smoking antics included drifting and doughnuts, but was at odds with the planet-friendly future he sees for motoring.
“I’m really focusing on e-mobility,” says Rosberg. “It’s going to change our lives and our planet. It’s going to be a huge step and bring massive benefits. The question is just when it will happen, but it is fact that it’s going to go big. It might not happen immediately, but will once renewable energies come into play, and the energy sources improve.”
The German family-man, and shareholder in the Formula-E electric powered race series, thinks that changes in the acceptance of alternative energies will have a huge impact on motorsport, with Formula 1 being forced to change its ways.
“Formula 1 has to go electric! The whole world is going electric so they can’t have a petrol engine. That would be weird. Formula E has the rights to an electric racing car series for the next 25 years, so it’s going to be interesting what happens there…”