REPLACEMENT IN MIND: Nico Rosberg backs countryman Pascal Wehrlein to replace him at Mercedes in 2017. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
London - Mercedes needs to find a replacement following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement.
New world champion Rosberg has backed countryman Pascal Wehrlein's suitability to replace him at Mercedes.
Stars including Fernando Alonso are also on the team's 2017 short-list, but bookmakers say Mercedes' most experienced junior, 2016 Manor driver Wehrlein, is the favourite.
Rosberg has quit Formula 1 just five days after winning the world title for Mercedes in a move that stunned motor racing.
The 31-year-old veteran, who beat team mate Lewis Hamilton in the finale for the 2016 season, is the first reigning champion to quit since Alain Prost in 1993.
Rosberg said: "Pascal is a huge hope for Germany for the future. Of course he has to be on the shortlist."
But Rosberg said he does not want to actively make recommendations to Mercedes about who should be named to succeed him.
He added: "I am not best able to judge this."
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OFFICIAL: F1 champ Rosberg retires from racing
And when pressed by Italy's Autosprint to say who should get the best seat on the grid next year, Rosberg simply said: "I hope a good driver who makes a good fight with (Lewis) Hamilton."
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