Mercedes to take deciding Rosberg’s replacement

Pascal Wehrlein isn't good enough, so who will replace Rosberg?
Pascal Wehrlein isn't good enough, so who will replace Rosberg?

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the manufacturer will "take time" in deciding who will replace Nico Rosberg, who has announced his retirement from Formula 1 after winning the title.

Rosberg, 31, finished second to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end the season five points clear, and follow in the footsteps of father Keke, champion in 1982.

Rosberg announced on Friday that he is to retire from the sport, citing the sacrifices made by himself and his family, prior to collecting the trophy at the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala in Vienna.

Rosberg signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes earlier this year, but his decision, taken on Monday, means there is now a space alongside Hamilton for 2017 and beyond.

Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein are both backed by Mercedes, and spent the latter half of the 2016 campaign as team-mates at Manor, which uses the brand's power units.

Ocon recently signed for Force India, but Wehrlein's future yet to be settled.

Wolff, after applauding Rosberg for his "brave" decision to retire from the sport, made clear that Mercedes will not rush into a decision ahead of next year's regulation overhaul.

"For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one," said Wolff.

"We are going into a new era and there is a free Mercedes cockpit for the seasons ahead; we will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and then find the right path for our future."

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