Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone backs Nico Rosberg's decision to retire after winning his maiden title at the end of the 2016 F1 season Getty

Bernie Ecclestone has commended Nico Rosberg for stepping down from Formula One immediately after winning his maiden title at the end of the 2016 campaign.

The F1 chief executive believes the German driver has a "clever head on his shoulders" after making such a bold decision. Everyone involved in the sport were shocked when Rosberg announced his decision to retire just five days after lifting the drivers' title, but Ecclestone admits that no one can blame him for choosing to pursue other interests after he achieved his lifelong dream of winning the F1 title.

Lewis Hamilton lost the title he had held for two years in a row in 2014 and 2015 by five points despite winning one more race than his teammate. The Briton has since admitted that the team did not provide "equal opportunity" in the title battle. However the three-time world champion will not be able to avenge his loss next season owing to his teammate's exit from the sport and Ecclestone admits that it is not something that Rosberg should worry about.

"He has done his job," Ecclestone told Sport Bild, as quoted by ESPN. "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," the Formula One chief executive added.