Champions rarely come as humble as Nico Rosberg. Formula One World Champion, multi-linguist and now successful businessman and podcaster, if anything the former racing driver has sped up since he left the track.
Earlier this year, Rosberg became a shareholder in Formula E. Gentleman’s Journal sat down with the newest ambassador of the newest motorsport to discuss the future of racing, his novel approach to podcasting and how to live a balanced life.
“It’s an exciting time for Formula E...”
Rosberg’s name holds some serious clout in motoring circles. So, when the racer threw his turbocharged weight behind this new motorsport, people began to listen.
“It’s going to be big across the planet in the next couple of years,” he says, “and it’s so exciting watching all the big manufacturers battling it out on the track. And what sets Formula E apart from the petrol sport mostly is the locations.”
As the electric cars are zero emissions, the racer explains, the races can take place on the streets of cities rather than on out-of-town tracks.
“That makes it really family-friendly, fan-friendly, easy-access and lets us transform amazing cities like Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Paris. All of the best cities in the world. And that’s one of the most fascinating aspects of it. I don’t have a favourite team yet though — I’m very neutral.”
“It was like a rocket...”
He may be a champion on the track, and championing electric racing, but Rosberg’s own, off-the-track electric tastes are a little tamer than the 250 horsepower Formula E machines.
“I’m getting a Renault Twizzy for home. And, if you check out my YouTube channel, you can see that I already have an electric racing bike called an Energica, which is pretty awesome. They’re a leading electric bike manufacturer in Italy.
“But the craziest car I drove recently was a Porsche 918, which was absolutely madness. It was 4-wheel drive, hybrid and just so fast. 0-100mph in 2.2 seconds. It was like a rocket.”
“It’s a direct connection, on your own terms, to everyone in the world...”
“I’ve also been working on my social media,” adds Rosberg, “because I really enjoy creating content that is entertaining, such as short movies on YouTube. It’s the most efficiently-connected media in the world.”
The World Champion has also recently ventured into podcasting with his show ‘Beyond Victory’. His latest was with Bernie Ecclestone, with the founder of Formula E, Alejandro Agag, a former interviewee and Felipe Massa coming up.
“I want to go outside the world of racing, though,” reveals Rosberg. “I’ve recorded a podcast with a best-selling author on human performance, because I also want to discover what makes us successful, what makes us happy.
“I want to teach something,” he continues. “And there’s huge potential in that medium — that’s why I dreamed of picking it up. I listen to Joe Rogan, his podcast with Elon Musk most recently. And How I Built It is also one of my favourite. They’re great because you can listen while you’re on the go, even while you’re brushing your teeth.”
“We’re all pushing too hard...”
So if Rosberg’s on the trail of human happiness, what has he found so far?
“What makes you happy is, first of all, a balanced life. Because we’re all pushing too hard. Progress is important for our happiness — which is why we’re so happy after we’ve been to the gym. We’re also happy when we make mental progress, such as after reading a book.”
Freedom, too, is another key Rosberg has identified, and the racer admits that he feels considerably happier now the Formula 1-implemented constraints on everything from travel to his hobbies have been lifted.
“It’s different now,” he says. “I’m still travelling a lot, but now it’s with a new freedom. I decide myself where and when I’m going — and that’s a nice feeling. It means I can decide to be home for all the important birthdays and events for my kids. I really enjoy it.”
“I have a Tesco Express in London..."
“I like London. I really like it. It’s the best city in Europe, I guess — a real international hub. I have some real estate in London too. I have a Tesco Express in London, well, my space is rented out by a Tesco Express just outside Notting Hill.”
But home will always be Monaco, says Rosberg — who grew up in the principality.
“My school was actually right by the Formula 1 paddock,” he laughs. “And I just love it there, because the quality of life is second-to-none, which is a real privilege. The whole of the South of France is just so safe, really. I don’t think there’s many places in the world that you never need to worry about safety.
“But Ibiza is the place to go in the summer. I’ve been going there all my life, too, and it’s just got everything you ever need. Great restaurants, great boating, calm relaxing times, parties. We have a house there and a little boat in the harbour.
“In the winter? Because you’re not allowed to do risky sports when you’re driving, I’ve been banned from skiing for all of my career. But now? I can decide.”