Mercedes will not announce Rosberg replacement this year


Contrary to earlier reports Mercedes will not now announce Nico Rosberg's replacement until January.

In the wake of Rosberg's shock retirement announcement, Mercedes said it intended to confirm his replacement by the end of December. However, with the process proving a lot more difficult than first imagined, the team has admitted that it will not be in a position to name names until next month.

"Nothing is planned for the period between now and our return to work on January 3," said a spokesman for the team when asked about progress two weeks after Rosberg's sensational decision.

This would appear to confirm that the German team is not 'settling' for Pascal Wehrlein, who is essentially a free agent, but rather focussing on drivers already contracted.

In recent days the search has appeared to focus on Valtteri Bottas, but understandably Williams is not making things easy.

With Mercedes looking set to dominate again in 2017, one can imagine that drivers are falling over themselves in their efforts to secure Rosberg's freshly vacated seat, but contracts work both ways and as a result Mercedes is beginning to discover that it was somewhat naive in its initial reaction to the world champion's decision.

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Published: 15/12/2016
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