Bob McMurray: Winning ways were bombshells
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I didn't see that coming. Now there's a phrase that has been popular over the past couple of weeks.
The first was the drama that unfolded around Shane van Gisbergen in his first championship-winning race last weekend at the Sydney Olympic Park Supercar event.
I did not expect van Gisbergen to drop the ball in the first few laps of the weekend.
A bad start, a pit lane drive-through penalty and the game looked to be all over for the day, until he decided to be himself.
What came next was amazing driving, as only van Gisbergen can do.
It was an astonishing display from an incredible driver who seemed to have gone through the season with hardly a straightforward race to his name.
There always seemed to be some drama but he rose above it all to take the prize that he has, for so long, coveted.
A product of the MSNZ Elite Academy and the Toyota Racing Series, van Gisbergen always had a dream of driving "tin tops" and achieving the V8 Supercar title.
Another dream realised was Nico Rosberg's win of the F1 World Drivers' Championship title.
What came next was not seen coming by anyone in the sport. Rosberg's decision to announce his retirement was brave.
Since he has been paired with Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes F1 team he has, by and large, been outdriven in terms of pure speed.
Rosberg was coming dangerously close to a record by having the most F1 wins without a championship title, but that record still rests with Sir Stirling Moss with 16 wins over his truncated career.
Rosberg has 22 F1 race wins to Hamilton's 32, 29 pole positions to Hamilton's 35 and I think he recognised that the effort, dedication and perhaps circumstances that enabled him to wrest that title from his team-mate's grasp, could probably never be repeated.
It is unusual for a driver, having won the drivers championship, to retire without defending the crown in the next season. More especially to retire after his one and only title.
Others have retired after winning, such as Alain Prost and Jackie Stewart but they had four and three titles respectively to their names and one, Mike Hawthorn in 1958 because of illness.
Jochen Rindt was awarded the title posthumously in 1970 but I can think of no other driver to have walked away from the sport so soon after winning.
As Rosberg is quoted as saying "I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right".
There is a practical side as well. For a World Champion to get beaten regularly by his team-mate is never a good look and I think Rosberg is practical enough to know that Hamilton, in 2017, would do just that. Quit while ahead.
One other driver who retired from F1 after winning his only title was Nigel Mansell. He went off to IndyCar racing in the US but came back to F1 two years later only to retire again and then return to drive briefly for McLaren. After an couple of races, he decided to finally call it "game over". Perhaps a couple of years too late.
Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda commented on the timing of Rosberg's announcement: "This is something he could have at least hinted at when he signed his contract. In this case, we could have prepared a Plan B -- we would have had to in order to be ready".
Lauda would do well to remember that he, without warning and holding a lucrative contract for the following season, walked out of the Brabham team after practice at the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix for his first "retirement" leaving the team boss, Bernie Ecclestone, having to quickly employ another driver.
Rosberg has followed his head and his heart. Good on him.