Bernie Ecclestone says he understands why Nico Rosberg retired

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

The 2016 Formula One campaign was full of entertainment.

Whether it was the breakthrough performances of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel's temper tantrums, or the heated battle for the F1 crown between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, last year's campaign was full of drama, controversy, and surprises.

One of the most shocking elements of 2016, however, came after the final race of the season, as champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement after winning his first F1 championship.

Despite many questioning the 31-year old's decision to walk away from the sport after such a triumphant season, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that he understands why the German ultimately made the decision.

"He has done his job," Ecclestone told Sport Bild.

"Like most other drivers, who never manage to do it, he wanted to become world champion and he has the title now. Why should he continue? I can understand him."

A controversial final race at the end of last season saw Rosberg's teammate and title rival Hamilton criticised for trying to back the German up into other drivers, in a last ditch attempt to snatch the championship from his colleague.

Many had speculated how the pair's relationship would fare following the race in Abu Dhabi before Rosberg announced his retirement, but Ecclestone claims that Hamilton "will have to do without revenge" and described Rosberg walking away from racing with a clean bill of health as "a joyous event".

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"By making such a bold decision it helps Formula One. It shows he has a clever head on his shoulders. He has achieved his goal and how can anyone blame him for longing to do something else in life?"

"I'm glad they can step out of their own accord. In the old days, we lost driver for other reasons because they were killed in accidents. Therefore, these resignations are joyous events for me." he added.

Mercedes are still looking for Rosberg's replacement for the 2017 campaign, with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas the strong favourite for the role.

Do you think Nico Rosberg made the right decision to retire? Have YOUR say in the comments below.

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