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Bernie Ecclestone understands Nico Rosberg's decision to quit

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says he understands why world champion Nico Rosberg decided to quit after winning the 2016 world championship.

Mercedes is still searching for a replacement driver following Rosberg's retirement, which he announced just five days after winning the title in Abu Dhabi. Ecclestone respects Rosberg's "bold decision" and thinks it makes sense to walk away after achieving a life goal.

"He has done his job," Ecclestone told Sport Bild. "Like most other drivers, who never manage to do it, he wanted to become world champion and he has the title now. Why should he continue? I can understand him.

"By making such a bold decision it helps Formula One. It shows he has a clever head on his shoulders. He has achieved his goal and how can anyone blame him for longing to do something else in life? This is very adult and now Lewis [Hamilton] will have to do without his revenge [in 2017]. It is not Nico's problem."

Ecclestone says it is a "joyous event" for him when he sees a driver walk away from the sport with a clean bill of health.

"I'm glad they can step out of their own accord. In the old days, we lost driver for other reasons because they were killed in accidents. Therefore, these resignations are joyous events for me."