Retired world champion Nico Rosberg has said that Mercedes should consider big names such as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso when picking their 2018 driver line-up.
Rosberg’s surprise retirement has resulted in Valtteri Bottas joining Lewis Hamilton at the team and the Finn is likely to be looking to cement his long-term future at the front of the grid.
However, with two of the sport’s biggest names out of contract at the end of 2017 Rosberg is expecting Mercedes and the drivers concerned to consider their options.
Speaking recently Rosberg said, “What I said was is that it would definitely make sense for Sebastian to have a look at that Mercedes seat for 2018 and for Mercedes to have a look at him and consider him for 2018. That’s obvious. He’s one of the best drivers out there and he doesn’t have a contract for 2018, so they should explore the possibility. Who knows? Let’s see what happens, but it could be a good fit.”
While Bottas has been signed for this season and Mercedes has expressed confidence in the driver, Toto Wolff has said that the team has kept their “options open” so that they can assess the driver market going into next year.
In regards to Alonso, who will be out of contract with McLaren at the end of the year, Rosberg said, that while he isn’t the youngest driver out there he is still “driving at his best” and “should be considered as well”.
Rosberg was talking at a media event before the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. The German is now a Mercedes ambassador rather than driver and he has wished Bottas the best of luck at Mercedes.
Rosberg said that Bottas has “asked me if we can have a chat and I’m happy to do that. But I will stay very neutral, so I won’t be giving any Lewis secrets away, for example.”