2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is no stranger to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. He became a shareholder, investing in the all-electric racing series in 2018, and has droiven the GEN2 car on more than one occasion.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Rosberg explained what it was about Formula E that captured his interest and how an opportunity to race in the championship came about just hours after he’d announced his F1 retirement.
“[Formula E] is continuously progressing,” Rosberg told Sports Illustrated. “It’s opening to new cities with Tokyo coming in Season 10, and they raced in India and South Africa, all these great places.
“The unique thing for me is that you go to the people, because you race downtown and make it much more accessible for families. It coexists with F1. It's not a rival, and it's been growing well. There are a lot of car manufacturers involved, the fan base is growing and the quality of drivers has been steadily on the rise. We’ve seen drivers go from Formula E to F1, even and vice versa.”
Rosberg got his chance to see what Formula E had to offer when he attended the 2018 Berlin E-Prix. Getting into a race suit and racing helmet once again, the German driver tried his luck in the GEN2 car on the streets of the German capital and around the iconic Tempelhof Airport circuit over the race weekend. In fact, he became the first person to drive the ABB FIA Formula E Championship GEN2 car in public.
At the time, he explained that "Formula E is the future. It's sending out a very strong message to the world and it's cool. It's great because it's racing, it's a great championship, with some good battles out there - really entertaining, so it's a great package."
In the SI feature, the 2016 F1 World Champion revealed that he was once offered a drive in Formula E. However, it came just hours after his shock retirement announcement at the end of his championship-winning F1 season.
“On the night of my retirement, I got offered to drive in Formula E,” Rosberg continued. ”Actually the offer went to my wife, and then she told me! But anyways, that was a decline, because obviously, I just stopped racing and didn't want to get started again straight away.”
Instead Rosberg has continued to help campaign for greener racing and alternatives, founding the GREENTECH FESTIVAL. In collaboration with Formula E, Rosberg’s GREENTECH EXHIBITION was on display at the 2019 Berlin E-Prix for fans to understand the small changes they could make in their lifestyle which could make a global impact.