Date: 5th December 2016 at 10:44am
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Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement announcement not only shocked the world of Formula One but the entire Mercedes team.

Just 5 days removed from winning his first title, Rosberg announced that he wasn’t prepared to go through the challenge of trying to defend his title, calling his solitary title his target.

With Rosberg announcing his retirement with immediate affect, it gives Mercedes little options or time to look at the drivers market as they had believed that they had locked both Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton into deals for the immediate future.

‘What annoys me the most is that now Nico is telling us that he would have continued had he not won the world championship, This is something he could have at least hinted at when he signed his contract. In this case, we could have prepared a Plan B ? we would have had to in order to be ready. But it is as it is.

‘We all gave him the opportunity to become world champion in a fantastic car – and then he tells us he wants to retire.
Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Germany’s Die Welt broadsheet as quoted by

Hypothetically there were a number of drivers who could have been under consideration by Mercedes.

Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were both available, with the former choosing to stay with the team and the latter moving to Renault.

Kevin Magnussen moved from Renault to Haas, again another potential option, but newly signed to a new contract.

Top drivers such as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are both locked into deals at Ferrari and McLaren respectively.

On the task of replacing Rosberg he told Gazzetta dello Sport as quoted by ‘We have lost a champion, the best driver of 2016, It won?t be easy to replace him because all the drivers of a certain standard have contracts with other teams.

?Taking a young driver is a risk, we don?t know if he [Pascal Wehrlein] will be strong. Practically half of the grid have offered themselves.?