Ex F1 Drivers: Where Are They Now?

FW14B - Jenson Button (GBR) Williams Racing.
FW14B - Jenson Button (GBR) Williams Racing.

Formula One is one of the most demanding and exhilarating sports, and professional drivers can often struggle after retirement. With Lewis Hamilton amazingly extending his career even further and preparing for a fight to be Ferrari’s top dog, drivers’ careers are getting longer and longer. Nevertheless, there eventually comes a time when they must hang up their gloves. But what are ex-drivers up to now? Keep reading to find out.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button was a British racing sensation, winning the 2009 Formula One World Championship while driving for Brawn alongside another Formula One legend, Rubens Barrichello. This was the indisputable highlight of his racing career, although Button has had his fair share of success elsewhere.

The Brit may have hung up his Formula One helmet in 2016 but he hasn’t strayed too far from the track. Competing in the Super GT and FIA World Endurance Championship allowed Button to demonstrate his skills on a diverse range of circuits and race types. He most recently took part in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series for Rick Ware Racing, finishing 18th, 21st and 28th.

Button’s contributions to racing extend beyond the cockpit. Embracing his role as a seasoned veteran, he has taken on ambassadorial duties for McLaren. The Somerset-born driver brings vital insight and experience, helping the legendary Formula One team reassert itself as a significant challenger on the circuit.

Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi is a Canadian F1 driver who joined Williams Racing in 2020 and immediately affirmed his credentials as one of the most promising drivers on the tarmac. Born in June 1995, Latifi is still relatively young, although his future in Formula One is under question after he left Williams Racing at the end of the 2022 season.

What’s next for Latifi? Many Canadian fans were hoping he would get back in the cockpit for 2023, but that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. The promising driver announced that he had enrolled in an MBA course at the London Business School, commencing in August 2023, putting a temporary (or perhaps permanent) end to his racing career.

Hopefully, the Toronto-born figure will return to the sport in which he had such a promising start. Most Formula One fans will know Latifi primarily due to his crash during the 2021 season’s final race. This set up the controversial safety car palaver involving Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, inadvertently helping the young Dutchman beat his experienced counterpart to the title.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel had an imperious few years in Formula One, picking up the World Driver’s Championship four times in a row, from 2010 to 2013. The German tasted the most success driving for Red Bull, becoming the youngest championship winner at the time in 2010 and consistently setting the benchmark for other drivers.

Vettel never won another Driver’s Championship, going on to drive for Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW Sauber and Toro Rosso. Despite his lack of success since 2013, the German was still an integral part of the Formula One landscape until his retirement at the end of the 2022 season.

Sebastian has had a busy time since, emerging as a strident voice calling for essential changes in the fossil fuel and motorsport industries. He has appeared on prestigious shows such as BBC One’s Question Time, speaking about energy dependency, climate change and other pertinent issues.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg won the Driver’s Championship in 2016 while racing for Mercedes and was a notable presence on the circuit between 2006 and 2016. He also raced for Williams between 2006 and 2009, marking himself out as one of the hottest 21st century talents to hit the tarmac. And this was no surprise – Nico is the son of the legendary Keke Rosberg, best known for winning the 1982 Formula One World Championship.

Few Formula One drivers can replicate their success and excitement after their career finishes, but Nico Rosberg isn’t your average driver. He retired relatively early, in 2016, buoyed by his love of engineering and innovation. The entrepreneur took a keen interest in eco-friendly motor racing, emerging as a key stakeholder in the burgeoning Formula E division.

But this was just the start. Rosberg has also become a valued Formula One pundit on world-leading channels like Sky Sports F1, bringing insightful and personable analysis during the season. He most recently started Rosberg X Racing, winning the first ever Extreme E Constructors’ Title in 2021. As if this isn’t enough, the German-Finnish motorsports legend also hosts his own Beyond Victory podcast, offering insights into how to enhance human performance, among other interesting topics.

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