Head of Mercedes Benz motorsport Toto Wolff has confirmed that the team will take their time to name Lewis Hamilton’s team mate following Friday’s shock announcement that world champion Nico Rosberg will retire from Formula One with immediate effect.
Rosberg made the announcement less than week after claiming his first Formula One driver’s championship.
The top teams have confirmed their line-up’s for 2017 which begs the question, what will Mercedes do? The most logical choice would be to promote Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein who was placed on loan at the Manor outfit for this season scoring points for the team.
Wehrlein remained as the Brackley based outfit’s reserve driver in 2016, other more farfetched candidates include Fernando Alonso who is locked in at McLaren Honda until the end of next season and the Woking based outfit are unlikely to release him early to join Mercedes particularly as they lost both Lewis Hamilton and Paddy Lowe to Brackley.
Jost Capito, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer at McLaren said this week that he hopes Alonso extends his stay with the team.
It is also very possible that Mercedes may go and knock on Williams Martini Racing’s door to buy Valtteri Bottas out of his contract. The Finn is in part managed by Head of Mercedes Motorsport Toto Wolff.