Nico Rosberg has added another world championship title to his CV, with his Rosberg Racing Academy winning karting’s top accolade last weekend.
The 2016 Formula 1 title winner teamed up earlier this year with former karting mentor Dino Chiesa and Mercedes F1 partner Petronas to help support the careers of promising youngsters Italian Lorenzo Travisanutto and Briton Taylor Barnard.
Both drivers took pole positions for their respective finals at the FIA Karting world championship finals at Kristianstad in Sweden at the weekend.
Although Barnard could not hold on to the top spot and finished fourth in the junior event, Travisanutto triumphed in the senior category.
After celebrating with the team and drivers afterwards, Rosberg admitted that it felt 'special' to have helped secure another world championship success – albeit not in the cockpit.
"That is where it all started for us in karting – so doing it with my boss at the time, Dino, means it is a friendship as well," Rosberg told Motorsport.com.
"There was that competition feeling again, which reminded me of the good old days as well. It was a wonderful experience.
"It is so pure. It is much more simple and just comes down to the talent of the guys. There is no politics, no money involved: it is just pure driving and talent and winning, and that is what I really, really love about karting."
Although feeling upset that Barnard could not convert his pole into the win, Rosberg said that Travisanutto's performance was brilliant.
"It was a day of mixed feelings. We were on pole for the final of the junior category and on pole for the final of the senior category, and we only have two drivers. So out of the 250 drivers both of our drivers were on pole for their category. That was pretty good.
"In the junior it was Taylor Barnard who was leading the final and then suddenly dropped back to fourth place. So that was a pretty tough one because I so feel for them as I have been there myself. For these kids it is so tough for them, as at a one-day world championship everything is on the line.
"And then the next final, it was the second chance for us as a team and Lorenzo won it. He did an amazing pass and got it and so it was so cool. It was so emotional celebrating with them. It was very, very special. A special experience for me."
Taylor Barnard, Rosberg Racing Academy
Photo by: Rosberg Racing Academy
Rosberg said that there are now ambitions to turn the Rosberg Racing Academy into a strong force in karting, with Chiesa's own Kart Republic design having impressed straight away.
"We are expanding there, and we want to use this to really position as the dominant force in the karting world for years to come, because we have the best chassis as well
"Dino has made an incredible chassis, his own chassis for the first time, and it is awesome. So this is really going to be about positioning ourselves as the powerhouse – the Mercedes F1 equivalent in karting."
Rosberg said he had also not made a decision yet about whether he will stay focused on helping a new generation of karters or perhaps try to take his current duo further up the racing ladder.
"I haven't really thought about the next step because it is pure and simple my first reason for doing this," he said. "But of course some next steps might come.
"I have all the connections and I've done it as a manager myself, when I managed myself to the world championship.
"So one day maybe I might start to think about getting involved and staying involved longer with their careers, but it is not something I've thought about for now. For now it is really just very simple – just enjoying it."
Rosberg is clear, though, that despite his competitive fire having been ignited once again by karting success, there was no suggestion he was tempted to make a racing return for himself.
"No, no, no," he said. "That is finished."
Photo by: Rosberg Racing Academy
Massa targets karting in 2024 Olympics
Electric kart race supports Youth Olympics
Rosberg wins karting world title as team owner
- Formula 1