Mercedes could delay driver decision until February

Published on 20 Dec 2016 10:35

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda has warned that it could take until February to decide who will replace Nico Rosberg.

Following the German's shock retirement after he was crowned world champion last month, Mercedes said that they would make no decision until after the team returns from their Christmas break on January 3.

But now Lauda has hinted the wait could be even longer.

"It could take until the end of January before we know what path we are going to take," he said.

"We are not ready yet. There are quite complicated negotiations," he added.

Pascal Wehrlein and Valtteri Bottas are believed to be the front-runners to replace Rosberg, with Mercedes reportedly offering an engine discount to Mercedes in return for the Finnish driver.

Meanwhile, it has been said that Lewis Hamilton vetoed the idea of Wehrlein stepping in, fearing a repeat of the situation he faces in his rookie season at McLaren when he partnered double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Replies (4)
NL mclarenfan1968 20 Dec 2016 11:140
Posts: 945
Meh they want Bottas, it's so obvious but they don't want to pay Williams too much. Williams better play hard ball because they need the money and Merc need Bottas, no one else worthwhile is available. This Wehrlein hype, I mean what the actual F is on with that huh? One flash in the pan race and he is up for a top seat. Then again when the other merc car is occupied by butthurtboy I guess Wehrlein might turn out OK.
SE calle.itw 20 Dec 2016 11:220
Posts: 2545
The longer they delay it the worse it'll be for everyone.
NL Black Book 20 Dec 2016 14:290
Posts: 1362
I think the longer the delay, the more serious they are with buying a top driver from another team: Alonso or Vettel.
SE calle.itw 20 Dec 2016 19:070
Posts: 2545
If they wont afford Bottas they certainly wont afford buying out Alonso or Vettel, so I think thats highly unlikely. No, they probably aim for Bottas first, and if they wont get him they can always go to Wehrlein or Ocon.

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