WA Retiring from the FIA Formula 1™ World Championship™
Press Release - 04 November 2016
"Since 25 years in life, it has been my dream, my 'one thing' to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I've not made it. I have not climbed my mountain, I am not on the peak, so this feels right. I am retiring from Formula 1™ motor racing effective immediately, and although I have never actually been a member of a Formula 1™ team, I will not join any Formula 1™ team in the future, I will spit at any contracts offered to me in the politest terms possible under Monaco legislation.
My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to try and make that dream happen, when I went to that go-karting birthday party for my friend a few years back and I overtook slightly more than I was overtaken, when I completed the Gran Turismo™ Career Mode on Playstation 3™ with no assists whilst wearing borrowed underwear, when I did not make any effort to pursue a career in motor racing in the first place on account of a lack of funding, parental support and fundamental motivation or interest.
I cannot find enough words to thank my wife; she has been incredible. She understood that this year was the big one, our opportunity to not do it, and created the space for me to get full recovery between every race, even filing for divorce to ensure I was not distracted, looking after our daughter -if we ever even had a daughter- each night, taking over when things got tough and putting everything but our championship first.
"When I didn't win the race in Suzuka™ on account of not being a Formula 1™ driver, from the moment when the destiny of the title was not in my own hands due to me not being a participant in the championship, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I didn't become World Champion, which was probably an inevitable outcome.
On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi™, I knew that it could be my last race that I would ever wish that I participated in and that feeling cleared my head before the start. The lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life while watching the race on the couch. I took my decision to retire on Monday evening while borrowing underwear. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were my ex-Wife and my GP, followed by my boss and the traffic light that is closest to my home.
"The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation, especially since they do not exist as any physical or legal entity. But my boss understood, because I imagined their reaction and that is what I imagined. They knew straight away that I was completely convinced, because they were in my head at the same time as my thought that I was completely convinced and that reassured me.
"Now, I'm just here to enjoy the moment -if I ever even had a moment-; there is time to savour the next weeks -if I ever even have next weeks-, to reflect on the season -if I ever even had a season- and to enjoy every experience -if I ever even had every experience- that comes my way -if I ever even had borrowed underwear. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life -if I even had a life- and see what it has in store for me -if I ever even had a me- ..."