Date: 2nd December 2016 at 2:20pm
Written by:

Mercedes now find themselves in the surprising position of needing a new driver to partner Lewis Hamilton for 2017.

The 2016 Formula One World Championship ended less than a week ago, but that doesn’t leave much time for Mercedes to sort themselves out in time for the 2017 season.

Formula One teams already have their work cut out for them with new regulations coming into play and now Mercedes have to look at the driver market to replace their German World Champion.

?It took me completely by surprise and saw some board members and Niki [Lauda], and they were equally surprised. It is something we would never have imagined. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was quoted by motorsport.com following the shock announcement that Nico Rosberg was to retire with immediate affect.

There isn’t a driver in Formula One or with ambitions to be in Formula One who wouldn’t want to take that Mercedes seat for next season.

New regulations will hopefully open the door for both Red Bull Racing and Ferrari to potentially close the gap to Mercedes next season, they could even surpass Mercedes and end the Silver Arrows recent domination of the sport.

But Mercedes are still the favourites and thus, offering the best opportunity for drivers to compete for both regular race victories and the Formula One World Championship.

So who can Mercedes turn to?

‘We will start to look at this on Monday.

?It will be a very rational structured process. We will stick the heads together – Niki and I have been having discussions already these last two days and then on Monday, we go back to Brackley and sit down with the engineers and hopefully find somebody who can step in those big shoes.?
Wolff said.