Nico Rosberg's absence from the grid 'not good for F1' - Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone believes Nico Rosberg's absence from the Formula 1 grid next season isn't good for the sport, as although he isn't the most popular figure, he has a strong fan base.
Rosberg shocked the F1 world by announcing his retirement from the sport just days after winning his first championship. He described the achievement as his goal realised and said it was time to move on to other things, including being a full-time father and husband.
Speaking to India's Hindustan Times, Ecclestone said the loss of Rosberg would be bad for the sport.
"Okay, not as popular as Lewis [Hamilton] but Nico was a very popular driver," said Ecclestone. "So his absence is certainly not good for Formula One."
Meanwhile the 86-year-old said the German would always be remembered for winning one title and wouldn't be regarded as a "great" of the sport.
"Well, let’s just say he is a world champion," he said. "The other names that you mentioned [Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso] have obviously won more than a few times and have achieved more.
"So I would just call Nico a world champion and nothing else."