Former F1 Champion Nico Rosberg Is Mixing Classics And New-Age Supercars In A New Event
Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg may have retired from the sport (on a particularly high note), but he’s hardly been coasting downhill since then. Between his investments in electric-mobility startups and Formula E, television commitments, advertising campaigns, and his eponymous driving academy, he’s still quite involved in the world of automobiles. His latest endeavor is a three-day driving experience aptly named “Drivin’ with Nico” wherein the aim is to unite classic car driving and hybrid supercar testing in a single adventure, one set in the South of France no less.
I’ll be reporting on the event itself when the time comes—it will take place in early October—but in the meantime, I reached out to Nico so he could share his ideas directly.
Andrea Klainguti: This sounds like a unique experience, and a break from traditional classic car events, but in your opinion, how exactly does your event set itself apart?
Nico Rosberg: It’s a means of legends meeting the future. The greatest hyper cars on day one on a historic racetrack, and the greatest classic cars on day two on the most iconic roads, that’s a unique experience, and one of many that will happen in between.
AK: When did you decide you wanted to host a signature event?
NR: I am a huge fan of classic cars, but also of hyper cars, and particularly hybrid and fully electric ones. My friend Paolo Spalluto, who is helping me to build this event, is one of the best classic car rally organizers in the world, so when it was suggested it seemed stupid to say no! His team at Passioni Lab turned this concept into a reality, so that Drivin’ With Nico will also feature a part where participants can test modern hybrid and electric supercars on the Paul Ricard racetrack, which is going to be a highlight.
AK: What is the role and importance of hybrid and renewable technology in your mind?
NR: It’s very important to me at the moment, you can see this through my work with another event, the GreenTech Festival that we held in May in Berlin. For Drivin’ with Nico we are committed to making the entire event carbon neutral, and I hope to enthuse people with electric hypercars, to help them realize that performance driving certainly has a future even if it’s a little bit of a quieter one.
AK: Which cars are going to be attending?
NR: From the classic side, there is a 250 GT short wheelbase, a 300SL, Ferrari Daytona, 330 GTE, 288 GTO, and a Shelby Cobra among others… In regards to the modern supercars, we have a lot of brands involved and we will present very soon a list of models that our participants will have the possibility to test at Paul Ricard.
AK: What is your personal connection with classic cars? Have you already decided which one you will be driving at the rally?
NR: I love Mercedes’ classics, and I own a 300SL and a 250SL…but I cannot confirm what I will be driving just yet.
AK: Between your different commitments and spending time with your family, do you find any opportunities to go for a ride in the scenic roads around your home in Monte Carlo?
NR: Every three months I take the 300SL out for a tour through the mountains. I give it a big push to blow out the cobwebs, which is always an awesome experience in the beautiful surroundings here. There are worse forms of maintenance.
AK: It’s not easy to find a better place than the principality as a starting point for a motoring event, but do you see the future editions staying around the Côte d’Azur, or can you imagine visiting a different place every year?
NR: Yes, it’s awesome to start in Monaco and I hope that we will be back in Monaco many times in the future, but we will also seek other international locations with the most beautiful driving roads and that have historic heritage connections to motorsport.
AK: Have you planned this year’s route yourself? Do you have a particular favorite spot along it?
NR: I have been involved all the way from the initial conceptualization. Col de Turini is certainly an amazing sections of it, being the technical centerpiece of the Monte-Carlo Rally with its many hairpins, but the whole thing is truly special drive.
AK: Besides driving different cars at different locations, what else will you be offering to the participants?
NR: Just an overall fantastic time with great people and the special experiences that come from that.
AK: Do you often attend motorsport or automotive events now that you’ve retired from Formula One? Which has been your favorite?
NR: Goodwood obviously does amazing events like the Festival of Speed. These are experiences for motorsport aficionados that appreciate history and care about the future, and this is what we want to create as well.
AK: Which part of the event are you personally looking forward to the most?
NR: Trying to win the regularity rally! I love challenges, and taking some participants on in the hyper cars will be a good one.
AK: And finally: Is registration still open? How can one apply for a spot?
NR: Yes, it is still open. We’ve had an amazing response, so I invite people to check out our site and get in contact to apply.