MERCEDES ACE: Mercedes Nico Rosberg celebrates after winning the 2016 Australian GP in Melbourne. Image: AP / Ross Land
Nico Rosberg is first in the queue to race with Mercedes in 2017.
That is the claim of team boss Toto Wolff, with media reports in Germany declaring that Rosberg, the 2016 Australian grand prix winner, current deal is definitely expiring late this year.
Austrian Wolff told Sport Bild: "Nico is part of the Mercedes family. So he will be the first person we speak with. Then he has to tell us what he imagines also."
It is clear that, shortly behind Rosberg in the queue is Pascal Wehrlein, the strongly Mercedes-backed reigning DTM champion who has been placed at Manor this year for his F1 debut.
Wolff said: "Pascal has been given the responsibility at a young age to lead the Manor team. We will watch him closely and then decide how to proceed with his career."