STRONG IN 2016: Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg says he wants to remain at Mercedes 'for many years'. Image: AP / Claude Paris
Monaco - Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg has now played down swirling speculation that he might leave Mercedes at the end of the season.
An Italian newspaper recently suggested talks with Ferrari have begun, with Germany's Sport Bild now claiming the 30-year-old is moving to push his retainer much closer to the many more millions earned each year by Lewis Hamilton.
'Mercedes is happy with me'
Rosberg had fuelled the rumours at the recent Barcelona test by saying only "Let's see what the future holds", but in Monaco he sounded keen to stay with the Silver Arrows.
Rosberg, speaking to German broadcaster RTL, said: "I am happy, Mercedes is happy with me, for sure I will stay here for a few more years."
But at the same time, Rosberg suggested it is not quite time to sign on the dotted line.
Rosberg said: "A new contract is not at the front of my mind at the moment, I am quite relaxed about it."
Read: Monaco GP: Hamilton racing against Rosberg and history
F1 legend Gerhard Berger, however, warned both Rosberg and Mercedes against taking their contractual standoff too far.
Berger told Sport Bild: "I would recommend to both of them to renew the contract. Otherwise Mercedes risks the constructors' championship, and Nico his career."
Berger, who drove for top teams Ferrari and McLaren, continued: "It would be a risk for Mercedes to put (Pascal) Wehrlein in the car as soon as next year."
Rosberg tweeted from his home of Monaco on Monday (May 23), the location for this weekend's Grand Prix.