Formula One: Nico Rosberg reveals he turned to zen to calm his nerves during title campaign

Formula One World champion Germany's Nico Rosberg gives a press conference during the FIA Prize Giving Gala at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria on Dec 2, 2016.
Formula One World champion Germany's Nico Rosberg gives a press conference during the FIA Prize Giving Gala at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria on Dec 2, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Nico Rosberg enlisted the help of a Japanese Zen master to help inspire him to his maiden Formula One world title, Der Spiegel weekly magazine reported after the German announced his shock retirement.

Rosberg learnt meditation techniques at Kyoto in Japan as he constructed his title-winning campaign in the face of a fierce and sometimes bitter rivalry with Mercedes team-mate and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"In simple terms, the goal is to work on the full consciousness," he told Spiegel.

"You take the time to relax and to concentrate on your feelings. You learn to accept your emotions, including negative emotions like anger and worry."

Rosberg, who made his shock announcement on Friday, just five days after being crowned world champion, added: "The world of Formula One is a little cracked. There are a lot of egos coming up against each other.

"Everyone thinks first of themselves and tries to take advantage of situations to the detriment of others. It's a small world with a lot of money."

Rosberg is not the first sportsman to use alternative methods of preparing for his events.

Twelve-time Grand Slam tennis title winner Novak Djokovic revealed at Wimbledon in 2015 that he visited a Buddhist temple close to the All England Club in order to collect his thoughts before a big match.