"I took this decision on Monday night. After the glass during the day, the first person I told was Vivian (his wife) and Georg (Nolte, member of the management team Rosberg), and then Toto (Wolff, team boss Marcedes)," wrote Rosberg quoted by Reuters.
In a statement, called the rider was 31 years old had planned to retire since won the race at Suzuka, in early October.
Rosberg complete the following statement, which contained his personal Facebook account.
During the 25 years of racing, it's always been a dream of mine, 'the main thing' to become F1 World Champion. Through hard work, pain, sacrifices, this is my target. And now I have to seize it. I've been up the mountain, I was at the peak, so it feels is appropriate. My strongest emotion today is a deep gratitude to everyone who supported me and made this happen.
This season, let me tell you, really very heavy. I try my best in every case, after the failure in the last two years; they (failures) became fuel my motivation to a level that I never felt before. And of course it influence on the people that I love, too - it is the shared sacrifice of the whole family, making all the targets could be fulfilled.
"I can not find words to thank enough my wife Vivian; he has always been outstanding. He understood that this year is the year of great opportunity for us to achieve it, and he gives space to me to recuperate after every race, keep our two daughters every night, taking over when the condition becomes severe and the prioritization of this championship (F1).
When I won the race at Suzuka, a time when destiny is in the hands of the champion of my own, great pressure was starting to come and I started thinking to finish my racing career if I become world champion.
On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, I know that this could be my last race and it was clear in my head before the start. I want to enjoy every part of the experience (last race), knowing that it could be the final race ... and when the (start) is off 55 laps I underwent the most intense of my life.
I took this decision on Monday night. After a look in the mirror for a day, the first person I told was Vivian and Georg (Nolte, member of the management team Rosberg), and then Toto (Wolff, team boss Marcedes).
"The only thing that made this decision to be very difficult for me is because I put the family racing me in a difficult position. But Toto could understand. He knew that I was already fully convinced and it calms me down. The achievement of the proudest for me in the race is already won world titles with a team of exceptional people, the Silver Arrows.
Now I'm just going to enjoy this moment. There is still time to enjoy the next week, to reflect on the season that has been passed and try to enjoy every experience to come. After that, I will go through the next period of my life and see what was available to me.
Sky F1 pundits have expressed their disbelief at Nico Rosberg's retirement from F1 as World Champion
Sky F1 pundits Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz have expressed their disbelief at Nico Rosberg's retirement from Formula 1.
Less than a week after clinching his first world championship, Rosberg announced he has driven his last race in the sport - leaving Mercedes looking for a new driver for 2017.
Rosberg described the season finale in Abu Dhabi as an "horrendous" experience as he clinched the title ahead of Hamilton during a tense and controversial 2016 season.
But despite the obvious strain the title fight had put on Rosberg, who looked drained and exhausted following his title triumph, his announcement has left the F1 world stunned.
"I find it absolutely extraordinary, a big surprise," said Brundle. It's obviously a personal decision and it's bad for Formula 1 because we haven't got a world champion through the winter and next season.
Rosberg retires from F1
"It's also bad for Mercedes-Benz, they can't roll out their world champion. Quite clearly now he's ticked the biggest box of all as a racing driver, a world champion, and he's called it quits."
Rosberg follows the likes of Alain Prost, Sir Jackie Stewart and Nigel Mansell in leaving the sport at the top.
"My first reaction is that it's a decision that's been made in haste," added Kravitz. "In a season of Formula 1 where we've had shocks and turning points aplenty, this one takes the biscuit. What next for Rosberg?
The Sky F1 experts found it hard to explain just what may have motivated Rosberg to make such a "life-changing" decision.
The German seemed to indicate that the intensity of the world championship fight, particularly following the Japanese GP as he closed in on the championship, had a major effect on his thinking.
But does he want another racing career, or just more time with his young family?
"Sometimes he has come across pretty uncomfortable within the world of media and he said how he found the media quite hard," said Brundle. "But if you want to drive a racing car, why wouldn't it be a Mercedes as a reigning champion?
Why would you walk away from that to go to Le Mans, to go to IndyCar, to go to GT racing? There's no appeal at all when you've got a seat that every racing driver in the world would love to have."
"I guess the intensity he's referring to is the last five races. "The fact that he made that decision the day after the last race of the season makes me think his head wasn't in the most considered frame of mind for this life changing decision. Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement at a news conference earlier. We can hear him speaking shortly after he delivered his decision.
Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement at a news conference earlier. We can hear him speaking shortly after he delivered his decision.
What will Lewis Hamilton make of it?
In the aftermath of Rosberg's title win, it seemed Hamilton was the much more likely Mercedes driver to leave the sport. Now, the Brit is the sole Silver Arrow left.
"We had this bizarre situation where we thought Hamilton had threatened to quit back in May after they came together at the Spanish GP," explained Brundle. "Where's Lewis' head at?
Your dream racing car. It can't be that bad when between you you've won 19 races. I imagine Lewis is pretty gobsmacked."
Kravitz, meanwhile, questions whether Hamilton may have indirectly been a factor in Rosberg's decision.
"Is Rosberg effectively saying here that 'it was hard enough fighting Hamilton this year, I don't fancy doing it again because I don't think I'll come off very well against him?'
What will Mercedes do now?
The most dominant seat in motorsport will have plenty of takers, that's for sure.
"I would imagine the phone will be hot to Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda," said Brundle. "Fernando Alonso will be desperate to grab it, I don't know where Sebastian Vettel fits.
There will be so many frustrated drivers who have recently just signed up and settled down for next year who'll be thinking, 'maybe I had a chance'. I can only assume it's taken the team bosses by surprise just as it has everyone else.
"Whoever it is they'll have to fit in with Lewis Hamilton. "Do Mercedes just want a junior driver like Pascal Wehrlein, their reserve driver? Effectively that's a one-man team with Hamilton going for a title without any competition from within his own team.
Nico decision as Stoner in MotoGP or Fischer in Chess
Stoner announced in May that he was retiring from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, his reasons were taken at face value. Stoner never has plied in the trade of sweet BS slung around so freely by others in the paddock.
But so few in MotoGP really got to know Stoner in the last 10 years. He put his brain on his sleeve, but never his heart.
Likewise, Robert James "Bobby" Fischer was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. In 1972, he captured the World Chess Championship from Boris Spassky of the USSR in a match held in Reykjavík, Iceland, publicized as a Cold War confrontation, which attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.
That is allowed Soviet GM Anatoly Karpov, who had won the qualifying Candidates' cycle, to become the new world champion by default under FIDE rules.
We as supporters and admirers Nico Nico saddened by the decision to retire. But we also understand the this decision is for the good of himself. We love Nico Rosberg, you are a great F1 driver and The Genius F1 World Champion.