|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||December 6, 1948|
|Birth Place:||Solna, Sweden|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He competed in his first race when he was 29 years old.
Rosberg was born on 6 December 1948 in Solna, Stockholm County in Sweden, where his father studied veterinary science. Rosberg's father Lars Rosberg and mother Lea Lautala were both natives of Hamina, Finland. The family moved back to Finland in the spring of 1950, originally settling in Lapinjärvi and later moving to Hamina, Oulu and Iisalmi.
Rosberg's first memorable season came in a year where no driver won more than two races. With Ferrari's season marred by the death of Gilles Villeneuve at Zolder, the career-ending injuries to Didier Pironi at Hockenheim and the turbocharged Brabham-BMW and Renault cars suffering from poor reliability (and not helped by Brabham continually changing between the Ford V8 and the BMW turbo), consistency won Rosberg the Drivers' Championship, despite his Williams FW07C using the normally aspirated Ford DFY V8 engine which was considered outdated and out-matched against the vastly more powerful turbo cars. Rosberg won the championship with a five-point gap to Didier Pironi, with the latter missing the last four races of the championship due to injuries sustained at the German Grand Prix. Rosberg's 1982 Championship proved to be the last World Championship win for the old Cosworth DFV engine which had been introduced to F1 by Lotus in 1967 (the DFY was a development of the DFV). To celebrate the victory, Frank Williams gave Rosberg two days off from testing and allowed him to smoke in the team mobile home.
He next emerged with the Wolf team, midway through the 1979 season. However, the team was having difficulty staying solvent, and Rosberg had problems in finishing races. Rosberg soon had to change teams again when Wolf left Formula One, and signed with Fittipaldi Automotive which had bought the remains of Walter Wolf's squad. He secured his first two point-scoring results in the 1980 season, including a sensational podium at the season-opening race at Buenos Aires, but the uncompetitiveness of the Fittipaldi car meant that Rosberg often failed to finish or qualify. 1981 was worse as he failed to score at all.
Rosberg's post-championship years would be hamstrung by both uncompetitive chassis from Williams, and the powerful but unreliable Honda turbo engine. For his title defense in 1983, Rosberg was again using the reliable Ford DFY V8. However, by this time, Ferrari, Renault and BMW had got their act together and the reliability of their turbo engines was starting to match their speed and power output. Rosberg still put his Williams FW08 on pole for the opening race of the season in Brazil (where he was disqualified from 2nd place because he was push started in the pits after he was forced to abandon his car in his pit bay due to a fuel vapor fire), and then won both the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and in Monaco thanks to a choice of slicks at the start when all others started on wets, but it was increasingly obvious that without a turbo charged engine, results would be scarce. To that end, Frank Williams concluded a deal to run the Honda V6 turbo engine in his cars. Honda had come back into Formula One that year with the Spirit team and results had been slow with unreliability, but they were enthusiastic about joining Williams who had a reputation as a Championship-winning team. Rosberg and teammate Jacques Laffite first got their Honda turbos in the season ending South African Grand Prix at Kyalami and immediately the new Williams FW09 was on the pace. Rosberg finished in 5th place to give him 5th place in the championship. During the year, Rosberg earned the title "King of the atmospherics".
Despite good power from the Honda engines, Williams and Rosberg struggled in 1984 mostly due to the FW09B chassis not being rigid enough to handle the power delivery of the 850 bhp (634 kW; 862 PS) V6. The Finn managed to tame both the car and engine long enough to win the Dallas Grand Prix, but his only other podium for the year was a second at the season opener in Brazil (the 3rd time in succession he finished second in Brazil, but the only one from which he was not disqualified). After a frustrating year he finished the championship in eighth place with 20.5 points.
In November 1984 following the F1 season, Rosberg, along with fellow F1 drivers Niki Lauda (the 1984 World Champion), Andrea de Cesaris and François Hesnault, travelled to Australia for the non-championship 1984 Australian Grand Prix at the Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne. Rosberg managed to qualify 4th in his Ralt RT4 Ford despite spending most of the day with fellow aviation enthusiast Lauda (his teammate for the race) attending an air show at the nearby Essendon Airport. After an early race dice with Lauda and a clash with Terry Ryan while lapping the young Australian which put him off the short 1.609 km (1.000 mi) circuit, Rosberg went on to finish 2nd behind the Ralt RT4 Ford of Brazilian driver Roberto Moreno who won his 3rd Australian Grand Prix in 4 years (having also won in 1981 and 1983).
In his karting years, Rosberg had a white helmet with a blue stripe, then, in F1, Sid Mosca (who designed helmets for Brazilian drivers including Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello and Emerson Fittipaldi) painted Rosberg's helmet white with a blue circle on the top and the stripe was divided in a big blue rectangle covering the visor area with some blue rectangles behind (similar to Didier Pironi's helmet design). In 1984, the rectangles were replaced by a yellow trapezium. His son Nico used a design that had similarities to Keke's helmet earlier in his F1 career, with grey replacing blue and with flame motifs, before changing to a new design in 2014.
1985 would prove better for both Rosberg and Williams. The Finn had a new teammate in Nigel Mansell and the all carbon fibre Williams FW10 chassis was a big improvement over the FW09B. For the first few races the team used the 1984 engines until Honda introduced an upgraded version which improved power delivery, fuel economy and most importantly, reliability. Rosberg used the new engine to good effect, winning the Detroit Grand Prix and claiming pole in the next two races in France at the Paul Ricard Circuit and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Rosberg's pole-winning lap at Silverstone created history when he lapped the 4.719 km (2.932 mi) circuit in 1:05.591 for an average speed of 259.01 km/h (160.94 mph). This would remain the single fastest lap of a circuit in Formula One until broken by Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the 2002 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
In 1985, renowned Finnish actor Matti Pellonpää and his band released a song called "Keke Rosberg formula rock [fi]".
Just as the Honda engine began producing regular results, Rosberg decided to leave Williams at the end of 1985 and signed for McLaren, winners of the 1984 and 1985 Drivers' and Constructors' championships. The Williams-Honda team would go on to dominate Grand Prix racing in 1986 and through 1987.
At the time, Rosberg's move to McLaren for the 1986 season had seemed a master stroke as they were the championship team of the previous two seasons, having done so (especially in 1984) in dominating fashion. However, the 1986 McLaren was now somewhat underpowered compared to its rivals, and Rosberg, was soundly beaten by teammate, 1985 World Champion Alain Prost (the McLaren MP4/2C had been designed by John Barnard to suit the smoother style of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, while Rosberg had never shed the ground effects style of late braking and throwing the car into a corner. It was not until it became known Barnard was leaving for Ferrari that the designer allowed Rosberg to fundamentally change his cars set up to suit his style. Ironically this coincided with Rosberg's only pole position of the season in Germany). On top of that, the fatal crash of Rosberg's close friend Elio de Angelis while testing a Brabham at the Paul Ricard circuit in France in May 1986 deeply affected him and he retired at the end of the season. He would later claim that he retired "too soon".
Rosberg, who had made up his mind in mid-1984 that he would only race for two more years (but did not announce it publicly until Germany 1986), had no regrets about leaving Williams and joining McLaren at a time when the Honda engine was starting to come on strong, while the Porsche built TAG engine (and the 3 season old MP4/2) was starting to show its age. In an interview following his retirement announcement, Rosberg said that he was glad he left Williams when he did, stating that had he stayed with them he might have quit Formula One early in the 1986 season after Frank Williams' pre-season accident (in which he suffered a spinal cord injury which left him a tetraplegic) had left someone in a position of authority within the team who he said was one of the reasons he had decided to leave Williams, adding "We simply could not stand each other". While Rosberg did not name the person, it was generally believed to be Williams head designer and Technical Director Patrick Head, who had taken over the day-to-day running of the team while Frank Williams recovered from his accident.
In 1989 Rosberg made his comeback in the Spa 24 Hours in a Ferrari Mondial run by Moneytron (cf. Jean-Pierre Van Rossem and Onyx), the same team that gave Rosberg's protégé JJ Lehto his debut in Formula One. Rosberg was a key element of Peugeot's extremely competitive sportscar squad in the early 1990s. But after two years with the marque and varied successes (two victories and a failed attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans), he moved on to the German Touring Car Championship, the DTM, driving for Mercedes-Benz and Opel. Here he set up his own team, Team Rosberg, in 1995 and at the end of that year withdrew from driving to concentrate on running it.
Team Rosberg ran for another year in the DTM, until the series collapsed, and has been present in Formula BMW, German Formula Three, the Formula Three Euroseries and A1 GP since. Team Rosberg returned to the revived DTM in 2000, entering two Mercedes. Success, or even just scoring points, became harder with each passing season and Team Rosberg quit the series after their 2004 campaign, only to return in 2006, this time with Audi.
Rosberg later spent a long time managing his countrymen JJ Lehto and future world champion Mika Häkkinen. Until 2008, he also managed his son Nico who entered Formula One in 2006 driving for Williams F1. In 2013 he and Nico became the first father and son to both win at Monaco, 30 years apart from each other. In 2016, he and Nico became the second father son duo to both win Formula One World Championships, after Graham Hill and Damon Hill had won the Championships of 1962 & 1968 and 1996 respectively.
In 2020 he appeared in a Heineken commercial with his son Nico.
Currently, Keke Rosberg is 74 years, 6 months and 0 days old. Keke Rosberg will celebrate 75th birthday on a Wednesday 6th of December 2023. Below we countdown to Keke Rosberg upcoming birthday.