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Featured Who Could Fill the Vacant Mercedes Cockpit?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Mercedes Rosberg Decision.jpg
    Following the shock announcement that Nico Rosberg has decided to hang up his Formula One helmet with immediate effect, the question on everybody's lips is who will replace the current World Champion at the all dominant AMG Mercedes team?


    With the 2016 Grand Prix season now at an end, Rosberg has left the decision to walk away from Formula One to the very last possible moment (potentially the reason the FIA have failed to produce their official entry list on the scheduled 30th November deadline). With many top drivers already contractually tied in to the respective teams for 2017, Mercedes are left with a difficult decision to face before the 2017 driver market truly settles down ahead of the biggest rule change in several years.

    "For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one" Said Mercedes Toto Wolf. "We are going into a new era of technical regulations and there is a free Mercedes cockpit for the seasons ahead. We will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and then find the right path for our future."
    With current active drivers Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon all running under Mercedes steam the Rosberg announcement could perhaps present an opportunity to move further up the grid and drive for the Silver Arrows next year. Williams driver Bottas is under contract at present, and the team will be reluctant to let the highly regarded Finish star leave the Grove squad, especially after reportedly rebuffing attempts by the Renault team to sign him up towards the end of the current season. Despite the obvious desire for Williams to retain the experience of Bottas, a deal could possibly be stuck if Mercedes offer additional support and financial incentives to the once great British team. Obvious replacements for Bottas at Williams could be their young Third Driver Alex Lynn, or Mercedes junior Wehrlein. Wehrlein is apparently out of favour at the Silver Arrows having been overlooked for the second Force India seat in favour of Ocon, who himself has been placed at the Silverstone based team as Mercedes consider the talented youngster still too inexperienced to be considered for a full time drive in a race winning operation.

    Considering the lack of talented, experienced driver opportunities so late in the year, other possible options could be either of the recently retired Jenson Button or Filipe Massa. Button is technically under contract to McLaren for a further two years and does appear to have lost his motivation for racing in Formula One, however a seat in the top team for the past few years could do wonders for a driver whose motivation a steadily dwindled after several seasons toiling at the back of the grid. Both Button and Massa still retain their speed, and the extra experience either driver could bring to Brackley could prove valuable in light of the regulations overhaul next year.

    Mercedes will no doubt be keen to place a driver capable of either delivering right away or with enough potential to be a likely race winner by seasons end, and quite simply not many current free agents will have the desired CV to drive alongside a driver of Lewis Hamilton's ability, for a team now accustomed to running right at the very sharp end of the Formula One field.

    It will be interesting to see where Mercedes go from here. Will the top team in Grand Prix racing look to make an expensive move for a current star such as Fernando Alonso or Daniel Riccardo? Will they promote from within and sign up a youngster with a Mercedes association such as Ocon or Bottas? Or will the team opt for someone completely different and surprise us all once again? One thing is for sure, the next few weeks in Stuttgart and Brackley will be very interesting indeed...

    Who do you think Mercedes will sign up for next season alongside Hamilton? Who would you like Merc to sign? Let the speculation begin...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
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  2. Ryan Soucy

    Ryan Soucy
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    From likely to WHAT?!
    1) Pascal Wehrlein
    2) Carlos Sainz, Jr.
    3) Ricciardo (granted a release for a supply of Mercedes engines)
     
  3. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

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    I'll throw Ocon into the mix, but it'll probably be Wehrlein
     
  4. Tim.E

    Tim.E
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    Please please please please Mercedes promote Pascal. He's done such an amazing job this season, it isn't as easy to score points in the Manor irl than it is in the 2016 game. He proved he's up for the challenge and I think he could give Lewis a really good run for his money. It would be sad to lose such a great talent as Pascal is, don't think Mercedes wants that to happen.
     
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  5. Raikku

    Raikku

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    Bottas of course. Toto is his manager so it would be very odd if Valtteri doesn't get that place. Actually don't see any other option to that.
     
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  6. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
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    Bottas.
    Wehrlein is too unexperienced for Mercedes (not my opinion, i think this is how Mercedes thinks.)
     
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  7. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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    Obviously, this is exactly what Rio Haryanto needed to get back into F1.
     
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  8. clemencaman

    clemencaman

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    Alonso
     
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  9. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Mansell.... ach his a&se is too big for the cockpit... McLaren 1995 all over again :(;)
     
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  10. Dave R

    Dave R

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    I vote for @Andy Jackson. The interviews would be fantastic!!
     
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  11. Jimlaad43

    Jimlaad43
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    If they can't decide, Susie Wolff maybe?
     
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  12. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

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    Bottas is so meh though at the moment. Like would people actually want to see him battling Hamilton?

    I don't really see Pascal and Lewis working together. Pascal is known for being a dick and is quite arrogant. You also have to question why Force India picked Ocon over Wehrlein. I don't see Pascal and Lewis being a productive partnership
     
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  13. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

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    Mercedes wouldn't sign someone who would be at the back of the grid in the best car ;)
     
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  14. Michael Watts

    Michael Watts
    XB1 Gamertag: michaei watts Premium

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    I think Bottas would be the best replacement for Rosberg in terms of proven performance and just pure grit. He can pick up right where Nico left off Challenging Lewis week to week in identical equipment.
    Although I heard Jeff Gordon was available.
     
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  15. Runic

    Runic

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    Savage
     
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  16. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Czarleeese Baygio Premium

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    Hey Niki and Toto. I'm free for next season. Send me a message. thx.
     
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  17. Runic

    Runic

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    Being German should be enough. ;)
     
  18. ionONE1

    ionONE1
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    Should be Wehrlein:
    - looking for a team
    - DTM winner for mercedes
    - Formula 1 Mercedes testdriver since 2015
    - was driving the 2017 tire mule car, also took over Hamiltons car after he "didnt feel well" this week
    - made it 6 time into Q2 2016
    - only point for Manor
    - is german
    2016: qualy battles Pascal Wehrlein - Rio Haryanto (8:5)
    Pascal Wehrlein - Esteban Ocon (6:2)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
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  19. Blimey

    Blimey
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    Massa coming out of from a very short retirement would be funny tho, I would vote for that.
     
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  20. ionONE1

    ionONE1
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