It was an exciting and much-awaited premiere for Nico Rosberg.
The Formula One world champion and CEO of Rosberg X Racing finally got back in the race seat for an exclusive test drive in his team’s ODYSSEY21 race car in Germany. Following his Formula One title in 2016, Rosberg had vowed to quit racing and embark on a career as a sustainability entrepreneur and investor. Since then, the 36-year-old is rarely seen behind the steering wheel of a race car.
This was one of these occasions. Following the sensational victory of the inaugural Extreme E season, RXR’s founder and CEO decided to take the ODYSSEY21 for a spin on the Nurburgring Offroad Park, near the team’s base Neustadt, Germany. Under close supervision from team principal Kimmo Liimatainen as well as RXR’s drivers Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg had a chance to get acquainted with the ODYSSEY21 and the one kilometre off-road track ahead of his first-ever laps in a rally car.
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While his aura showed a certain tension, his driving certainly didn’t. After approaching the first couple of turns with the due respect that a 550 bhp electric race car of 2.3-metre width deserves, the ex-pilot quickly found his pace again. Flooring the throttle, he went all in and flat out, as he produced an impressive cloud of dust over the area known to motorsport fans as “Green Hell”.
The excitement could not be denied, as the onboard cameras showed an emotional Rosberg laughing with exhilaration.
Getting out of the car, Rosberg commented: “This was simply a phenomenal experience. I cannot believe the power of this car. Off-road driving is so much fun. Even though I have not been behind the wheel for a long time, I immediately was in my element. The muscle memory came back instantly, and I simply enjoyed myself. Rally driving is an entirely different beast from circuit racing, though, and I have a newfound respect for Mikaela and Johan.”
While the test was just a fun exercise for Rosberg, serious business is about to begin again for RXR with less than two weeks to go before the Island X Prix in Sardinia. The double-header race event in Italy will mean two chances for Johan Kristoffersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky to defend their current lead on the 2022 Extreme E championship title. RXR heads into Race 2 and 3 on 6th July with 30 points in total and a freshly motivated CEO.
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