Several media outlets are claiming the Sauber team are close to securing the signature of Mercedes AMG Junior Driver Pascal Wehrlein for the 2017 season, bringing the Formula One silly season one step closer to its conclusion ahead of pre season testing at Barcelona in February. As has been widely reported in recent weeks, Mercedes have been looking to replace their outgoing World Champion Nico Rosberg next season, with both junior driver Wehrlein and Williams Grand Prix driver Valtteri Bottas seen as the front runners for the vacant seat alongside Lewis Hamilton in the all conquering Silver Arrows. With strong rumours suggesting Bottas is a shoe in for the drive, it appears that Sauber have been quick to pick up the pieces and secure the signature of the highly rated German driver Wehrlein from his outgoing team Manor. Already having confirmed current driver Marcus Errikson for next year, the move for Wehrlein seems to have left Filipe Nasr without a drive for the coming season unless a spot at Manor can be found in the remaining weeks of the off season. With Manor currently locked in takeover talks and a fluid driver situation adding to the uncertainty, it remains to be seen what the little British team can produce in what will be their eighth season of Grand Prix racing. Meanwhile should the Bottas move to Mercedes go through, it is expected that Brazilian race winner Filipe Massa will postpone his retirement plans for at least another season as he looks to help provide stability to the Williams team in light of the major regulation changes due to take place in 2017. The final pieces of the 2017 driver market jigsaw all but in place, its just a case of waiting for the announcement... The RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum is the place to go for all the latest news and discussions regarding the pinnacle of open wheel motorsport. Head over to the sub forum now and join in the discussion with your fellow fans as we wait out the long off season prior to the green light at Melbourne in March. Do you think Wehrlein is a good signing for Sauber? Does being overlooked for the second Mercedes drive hurt his long term career prospects? Let us know in the comments section below.