Date: 27th December 2016 at 8:51am
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Red Bull Racing motorsport boss Helmut Marko has mocked Mercedes for their indecision over who should replace the retiring Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes were thrown into this predicament by the sensation news that Rosberg would retire, just days after clinching the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

The timing of the announcement prevents Mercedes approaching most drivers.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both appear to have water tight contracts at McLaren Honda and Ferrari respectively, despite both drivers probably eager to take the Mercedes seat if possible.

Other options such as Nico Hulkenberg are off the table as he has just signed a deal to move from Force India to Renault.

That has left seemingly two options.

A move for Williams driver Valtteri Bottas or place Pascal Wehrlein in the car as he is without a drive for 2017.

Those options were all but confirmed by Niki Lauda in an interview before Christmas with Servus TV channel.

Lauda has been quoted by as saying: ‘We had hoped for a faster solution, but the discussions prove to be difficult, There are two scenarios ? we take a young gun like Wehrlein who could turn out to be a Verstappen, or he couldn’t. Or we take an experienced guy.

‘But we are still making up our minds. That’s a huge discussion, really. It can take until the end of January until we know which route we are going to take.’

Mercedes are in talks with Williams over Bottas. An offer of a major reduction in their engine bill could see Williams in-excess of ?10million.

Felipe Massa has also been approached to make a return to partner 18-year-old Lance Stroll.

So Valtteri Bottas or Pascal Wehrlein to partner Lewis Hamilton?

For Red Bull boss Marko it’s a quick and simple decision: ?You have a young driver programme and you have the highly-rated Wehrlein.

‘But according to our information it won’t be Wehrlein in the car. This means you don’t trust your own junior programme.?

?Okay, Wehrlein is very young, but no risk, no fun,?