Nico Rosberg has claimed that s decision to give up cycling was directly responsible for his winning the Formula 1 world championship last year.
The 32-year-old, who has dual German and Finnish citizenship, said that deciding midway through the season helped him save weight, reports MotorSport Week,
Rosberg insisted that his decision also messed with the head of his rival and Mercedes AMG Petronas team mate, Lewis Hamilton at a crucial point in the season.
"Every single detail counts,” he explained. “In the summer break last year I decided to stop cycling because the leg muscles are among the heaviest things on your body.
“I lost 1kg as a result that August. We came back, and three races later it was the Japanese Grand Prix."
Rosberg qualified in pole position for that race ahead of Hamilton by just 0.01 of a second and is adamant that it was deciding to forgo riding his bike that made the difference.
"One kilo of body weight is 0.04 of a second per lap when the car is at the weight limit,” he explained.
“My smaller leg muscles got me on pole, and that messed with Lewis's head, so he messed up the start.
“I finished first, he finished third, and I had the points lead that I needed to be able to cruise home with second places."
Rosberg retired from Formula 1 just five days after the end of his championship-winning season and revealed that he made the decision on the starting grid of what proved to be his final race, in Abu Dhabi.
"I was trying to apply all my meditation skills, but nothing worked.,” he said.
“What worked was the realisation that this might be my last race.
“I was like, 'Oh damn, okay, let's go and enjoy the driving -- it might be the last time!' That clarified all the stress," he added.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.