Mercedes will not announce Rosberg replacement this year

2017 F1 season

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Mercedes have confirmed they will not announce who will replace Nico Rosberg in the team’s 2017 line-up until early next year.

The world champions have been under pressure to find a replacement for Rosberg who announced his shock departure two weeks ago.

Drivers Yas Marina, 2016
Poll: Who should Mercedes hire to replace Rosberg?
Mercedes face limited options among the drivers who are not already under contract for 2017. Among them is Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who has just completed his first season of F1 with Manor.

However Mercedes is understood to be seeking a more experienced driver and has been reported to have approached Williams over hiring Valtteri Bottas. The 27-year-old is linked to Mercedes via the team’s chief executive Toto Wolff, who is involved in his management, and the team is also a Mercedes power unit customer.

But releasing Bottas would leave Williams without a driver alongside 18-year-old Lance Stroll who will make his debut for them next year. Felipe Massa retired from F1 at the end of the season.

Mercedes seem unlikely to land any of the other world champions on the grid. Fernando Alonso appears to have ruled himself out of the running having told McLaren staff earlier this week his “only goal” is “to be world champion with McLaren-Honda”. Jenson Button is contracted to McLaren for next year and has said he will not race in F1. Sebastian Vettel has also indicated the Ferrari drivers will not break their contracts to join Mercedes.

The FIA published a provisional F1 entry list for 2017 earlier this month with vacancies at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton, at Sauber alongside Marcus Ericsson, plus both Manor seats.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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98 comments on “Mercedes will not announce Rosberg replacement this year”

  1. Massa back to Williams? He has the experience and knowledge of the team…

    How much do Williams need a discount on their engines right now? Losing out to Force India this season cannot help anything.

    1. I so agree with you. Massa will be back next year and Bottas will be gone. It’ a win for Williams even if Massa is beyond his best years. Williams are already looking to 2018. Paddy Lowe can’t come there until mid 2017, so next year is a treading water year. What they need is some big money to drive the 2018 development. All they need for 2017 is a good development driver and a bucket load of money. Sell Bottas and keep Massa.

      1. @mickharrold

        Interesting ! Yes highly a possibility considering they need someone to test out all those new stuff for next year, who better than Massa with all that experience.

    2. Williams also have reserve driver Paul di Resta. They should promote him to a full seat.

      1. definately DiResta instead of Massa. The farewell in Brazil was one of the most memorable things i’ve seen in F1 in recent years, it would be a shame to spoil that with a 1 year return to a team which will be most probably strugling in 2017.

  2. Nico has really dropped them in the s. Having said that, this shows the value of having a back-up driver with experience that can step into the fold and at least is not contracted to another team. De la Rosa used to be that driver for McLaren (now they have Button).

    I’m going to get lambasted, but I would really like to see Timo Glock in that seat! He was always so underrated.

    1. I’m going to get lambasted, but I would really like to see Timo Glock in that seat! He was always so underrated.

      Glock was the unsung hero of 2008. I think Hamilton would be delighted to have Timo in the team :)

      1. @glennb Can’t believe this Glock BS is still alive in the mind of some people. Truth is the exact opposite, Timo Glock actually almost costed Lewis the title in 2008 by keeping slick tyres while everyone changed them. If Glock changed them like everyone else, Lewis would have never been behind him in the first place and would have not gone through those unbelievably dramatic last 4 laps.
        Lewis must thank the rain that suddenly came stronger, not Timo Glock.

        1. Please see the vid. If Timo had gone for the apex at the last corner as he should have, Massa would be WDC. And well deserverdly.

    2. @john-h Sorry, but Glock? Couldn’t even beat Trulli convincingly, if really at all.

      1. @mashiat, Glock didn’t beat Trulli at all – in the 2008 and 2009 seasons at Toyota, Trulli outscored Glock in both (31 points to 25 in 2008 and 32.5 points to 24 in 2009). Mind you, Trulli could be pretty quick on his day – it’s kind of forgotten that, back in 2004, he had the measure of Alonso for most of that season (although around the French GP where, after his relationship with Briatore soured, his performance suddenly went downhill in a rather suspicious manner).

        I agree that I can’t see why Glock would be considered as a good candidate though – we’re talking about a driver who is nearly 35 and hasn’t raced an open wheeled car since 2012 (he’s been racing in DTM since he left F1, and he’s not even particular competitive in that series either).

      2. @mashiat Trulli was faster and stronger than Alonso in 2004.

    3. I too would love that, and it would fit in with the German driver thing they have always had.

      However I do believe he’s getting on in age a bit now, and possibly hasn’t raced at a high enough level in recent years. That said, he’s certainly not a bad shout.

      Personally I’d love to see Jean Eric Vergne back. It was a shame there wasn’t a promotion available for him because he does still deserve to be in F1.

      Either way, this publicity for Mercedes is definitely not bad, and it’s avoiding the winter silly season, which I’m quite happy about.

  3. I don’t understand this – the other teams have a few options.

    If Nico Hulkenberg leaves Renault, they can get Perez or Button or Massa. That’s 3 great drivers to have on your team who will advance the car.

    If Bottas leaves Williams, they can get Perez, Button, or Massa. I think Perez could be dynamite for Williams and give them super points. Having Button or Massa would be having 2 extremely experienced drivers. With a slight bump up from Mercedes, they could do really well.

    They could also bring in Jean Eric Vergne who scores points and does well during the races.

    There are plenty of options.

    1. Lol! Timo Glock?
      lol That came out of nowhere.

      1. Tim O’Glock is a great young Irish driver.

        What’s Sam Bird up to these days? Last I heard he was in ferrari sportscar racing….

      2. Tim O’Glock is a great young Irish driver.


    2. @freelittlebirds Plenty of options if you ignore what contracts they have in place and/or their desire to do what, as you claim, seems a no-brainer.

      1. @Robbie but can you really keep a driver and deny them perhaps the opportunity of a lifetime via the contract? There are plenty of solid options to replace drivers with.

        We’ve seen what value a contract has when the team doesn’t want a driver there. Didn’t Kvyat have a contract of some sort?:-)

        1. @freelittlebirds You are right, but it’s just that you have some ‘if’s’ there that would require a lot of different things to come together at once. Also Kvyat was moved within the same family and it wouldn’t surprise me if what happened to him was within his RBR contract.

          IF NH leaves FI…IF Button can or even wants to…IF Massa wants to come out of retirement….IF Bottas can be released…Can Williams just ‘get’ Perez and does he even want to go and do they even want him? Sounds like they really want to hang on to Bottas for themselves for the consistency and for partnering Stroll.

          For me, even just from summing up this response to you, it almost seems like Nico’s replacement will have to come from someone not currently driving as everything seems like it will be too disruptive to any team that has a driver poached at this stage. Perhaps Wehrlien might be the most realistic option without a lot of gymnastics going on throughout the rest of the teams, not that I’m hoping for that.

          1. Wehrlien

            According to a trustworthy source Pascal Werlin, Pascal Wherlin, Pascal Wehrlien, Pascal Werlien, Pascal Werhlein, Pascal Werhlien, Pascal Wherlien, Pascal Wherlein, Pascal Werlhein and Pascal Werlhien will all be driving in a Mercedes next year.

          2. @rinodina

            Haha. Great comment.

          3. @mashiat, I think that we’ll see a lot of people just using his first name instead…

            @robbie, you’re right that, whilst there have been some high profile instances of drivers being bought out of their contracts in an elaborate manner, we forget about the times when those kinds of shenanigans failed. There have been times when a team have enforced their side of a contract and made a driver race for them – there are claims that Williams have already done that once with Bottas by refusing to let Ferrari buy him out of his contract unless they paid extremely onerous compensation to Williams for buying him out of his contract.

            As optimaximal also rightly notes, there is the question of what third party agreements a team might have which are linked to a particular driver and could be impacted by such a move – there is a suggestion that Stroll’s contract contained a clause specifying Bottas as his team mate, which be another reason why they are not keen to release him just yet.

            I’d also agree that Kvyat’s case is rather difficult to judge since I believe that, technically, Toro Rosso is a subsidiary of Red Bull Racing and therefore part of the same overall organisation. Although he was technically with a different team, it is possible that the contract could have been structured in such a way as to allow them to demote him back to Toro Rosso whilst not directly breaching the terms of the contract.

    3. Perez, Button, or Massa

      No doubt Renault and Williams would be delighted to have Perez, Button or Massa driving for them, but why would Perez, Button and Massa want to drive for Renault or Williams?

      1. Williams? Paddy Lowe.
        Renault? Factory team.

    4. @freelittlebirds The problem is that even if a driver doesn’t want to race for a team because a better option is available, there’s the small issue of a valid contract being tied up by the Contracts Recognition Board – that would have to convene and sort out miles of red tape to break a contract, unless the decision was mutual.

      Hulkenberg, Perez, Bottas, Button and even JEV (who likely has Formula E contracts tying him up) have contracts with their respective teams that they signed ahead of Rosberg’s baulk on his contract.

      If their teams don’t want to release them (despite publicly ‘not wanting to run a driver who doesn’t want to be there’), they don’t have to – the driver simply won’t be allowed to race anywhere else – hence why money or engine deals are often used to oil the deal and is where Toto/Mercedes have key leverage with Williams, but it all depends on the commitments Claire Williams made to her sponsors (support for Lance, Martini’s advertising requirements) and the amount of red tape involved in migrating Bottas’s sponsorship (Wihuri, among others) to Merc.

      This is also why no team would try to poach Perez from FIF1 – he’s so heavily laden with Mexican sponsorship it would be a nightmare to un-knit.

  4. 2-3 weeks extra to see if Bittas will go to Mercedes.Possibly some time for Massa and family to think of a possible comeback????Hopefully we won’t get the “boring” option of Wehrlein.

    1. *Bottas(😨😨)

      1. He’ll be Bittas if they don’t release him.

        1. @shimks Yes, that is a very good point: Williams would have to come up with a really good reason and be extra nice for the whole year if they do not to release Bottas. This is his golden opportunity to shine. I think it is important for him not to loose his temper and complain openly to the media.

        2. 😁😁😁😁Its his biggest opportunity and possibly his only chance to get in a WDC winning car

    2. Wehrlein would be exciting as hell. He would not let Hamilton alone, he is very defiant… and talented!

      1. Well.. You seem to have a lot of confidence in him. I would think that Wehrlein would get beaten so convincingly that he would never recover from it.

        1. Or the other way around, we’ll see.

  5. I wish I could be excited about Bottas going to Mercedes.

    With Rosberg retiring I was excited about the prospect of his replacement bringing a new dynamic to the team, but unfortunately I see Bottas as another driver who will deliver consistency, but will neither excite or bring astounding pace that’ll really trouble Lewis. I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

    If this is indeed the way it’ll play out there is at least one more intricacy to be resolved:

    Will Lewis will get his old mechanics back or stick with his 2016 set?!

    1. @sparkyamg Good point about the mechanics – Mercedes botched this one royally by switching them last year. Now Lewis has a new set of mechanics that he’s had to work with for a season and his old mechanics as well.

      What is he supposed to do? Mercedes have put him in the position of having to reject one of his teams…

      It makes me laugh that Toto is talking about anarchy in the face of what Mercedes and Nico have done.

      1. They didn’t swap the entire mechanical team though did they, just a few personnel

      2. @freelittlebirds Mercedes didn’t botch anything unless you subscribe to the theory that they intentionally sabotaged LH, which is ridiculous. This was simply paranoia on the part of his fans, and LH fanned the flames with his own accusations. Remember his ‘for no apparent reason’ comment which caused the team to publish a public letter defending the 1500 staff of the team? Then in more recent weeks LH had decided to claim he indeed knows the reason for the swap but won’t/can’t tell for 10 years. Meanwhile we know these kinds of things happen all the time in F1.

        LH won more races and got more poles, so how ‘botched’ was it? Reliability is never a guarantee. Therefore there was never any ‘anarchy’ other than in people’s minds…just normal racing circumstances. The real anarchy came from LH fanning the flames of conspiracy talk directed at the very team that has garnered him a top car that has allowed him 2 WDCs and mega wins, including another WCC and another 1-2 in the WDC. How botched is that?

        1. Remember his ‘for no apparent reason’ comment which caused the team to publish a public letter defending the 1500 staff of the team?

          Utter lies. That comment did not cause the team to publish anything. The letter was in response to people on social media accusing Mercedes of sabotaging Hamilton. Accusations that started (and Mercedes were responding to) before Hamilton made any comment on the matter.

        2. @Robbie it’s another decision made by Mercedes that now puts Lewis in a dilemma. Does he get his old crew back? Either way he has to reject members of a crew now courtesy of Mercedes and Nico…

        3. Let me illustrate how you are trying to shut down the legitimacy of questioning the intent of the management at Mercedes by shaming people through the device known as a strawman.

          Fact, Mercedes “EFFECTIVELY” handed Nico Rosberg the title through poor reliability and a clutch setting issue that lasted until the championship was almost done and dusted. That cannot be argued, it is the truth, if Lewis and Nico raced the same way, despite ROS crashing in to Lewis, Lewis would have won the championship handily with races to spare, and have had many more pole positions.

          Fallacy, people who try to quell dissent and legitimate questions about the intent of Mercedes (management),… which is highly questionable/objectionable given how ignorant they looked in front of the press, how derelict in their desire and interest in giving both drivers a reliable car, how blindingly obvious Mercedes management were at explicitly stating both cars were having the same problems, despite Lewis losing time in and time out…. use the term conspiracy (which is a strawman/jedi mind trick) to try and turn the conversation in to something that cannot be proven, and for which is an attempt to smear ideas which might defame/detract from the spectacle.

          Anyone who doesn’t question the obvious lopsidedness in terms of reliability for both Mercedes drivers, as well as the obvious attempt at Mercedes brass to point out both cars, both cars, both cars, has no interest (fact) what so ever in actually trying to understand a highly improbable and suspicious set of events. Anyone who has watched pro sports for a number of years, knows that the #2 always gets screwed on reliability and setup, with respect to their counterpart who is the sponsors/teams’ choice.

          This season was managed by Mercedes who are unrivaled, they have no competition, nothing to keep them honest, their only interests is to keep people looking at their commercial, which is F1, at the expense of the poorer teams, for which are slowly moving towards the hand out line in what is shaping out to be a case study in EU politik

  6. Will Power. I want to see how good a driver he really is.

  7. 2017:
    Lewis won all races, RedBull win WCC

    1. @ruliemaulana I really, really like this prediction! It’d be the payback of the century.

      1. Lol payback for what? They don’t owe LH anything. They do owe the fans the best possible teammate, although that is looking bleaker. Maybe you two are being tongue in cheek but if LH were to win all the races but not the WCC, as unrealistic as that is, it will have made for a terrible 2017 of an unchallenged driver on a dominant team running away with it, with an underling scoring barely any points, even after drastic rule changes meant to alter the poor product on the track and close up the field.

        1. @robbie Did Alonso had the best possible team mates at Renault and Ferrari ?, so why does Hamilton needs one ?

          1. @patienceandtime It’s not a question of why LH ‘needs one’ it’s a question of what F1 needs as well as the global audience. Worst case scenario is always that one team dominates and that same one team has a designated or at least an obvious number 2. So you then have a boring season of pure predictability except for those that can garner some enjoyment out of seeing people fight for best of the rest…the one number one on the dominant team. I hated it when they favoured Schumacher above and beyond any driver in the history of F1, and I hated when it appeared FA wanted that at Renault but earlier in he needed it in order to compete against MS/Ferrari and their one-rooster ways, as it was for FA with Massa at Ferrari too.

            Mercedes did us a huge service by having two roosters on the team and not taking the easy road of designating a one and two. Thank goodness or all it would have been is LH win after LH win and the audience turning away even more than they already have.

            F1 needs to always strive to have top drivers on the top teams and allow them to race if this is to be the pinnacle of racing.

          2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
            15th December 2016, 23:38

            Hamilton needs Alonso in the team to get the best out of him, but only if its on equal terms. Hamilton was heavily favoured back in 2007, and since with every teammate or team he has been in. If he goes against Alonso and wins, he gets applauded as the best current driver in the world, of he loses, he still gets the accolade of 2nd best current driver in the world, which is accurate given his status in WC points this year against Nico. Now consider further…we all know Lewis was a little quicker on his day than Rosberg, and Schumacher was by 2012 was faster/driving better than Nico. So really, Hamilton in his prime is as good as Schumacher was in his 40s and way past his best.

            Thus, I would suggest that Hamilton is not as good as Alonso, who himself in turn was not as good as 1st-gen Schumacher. This would be Hamilton’s chance to prove that he “deserves” to be 2nd in all time wins.

  8. What really would be funny is that Lewis gets inspired by the decision of Nico, and quits also. All new driver line-up at Mercedes.

  9. It’s Bottas then. All those contractual and financial complications will be ironed out in these three weeks. Bottas to Merc, andd Werhlein to Williams.

    1. @david-beau Spot on.

      It’s like when a big football club comes in for a player and the first bid is knocked back. You know it’s only a matter of time before the move happens no matter what the selling club does because the player’s head is turned.

      Bottas will be trying to force this through and Williams won’t be able to do a great deal unfortunately for them.

    2. The big trouble for Williams is having 2 under 21 drivers which means Martini can’t do any sponsorship work with them. Not great as the title sponsor

      1. Most of the world has minimum drinking age of 18, why does being under 21 matter, except for the US and UAE?

      2. Found the American.

    3. It will be Massa to Williams, Bottas to Merc. Wherlein goes to Sauber. Indonesia KFC buy Manor and Giovinazzi and Rio Haryanto drive for them.

      1. The last sentence is gold. I can already imagine the livery on a “Indonesia KFC Manor”, the crispy buckets all over the rear wing.

    4. @david-beau Not impossible. But if that’s true I fear for Williams position in the WCC that already slipped to 5th. I’d negotiate with Mercedes to compensate whatever money is lost with another slip-up.

  10. So, I’m reading between the lines here, I’m almost certain, with the video that Hamilton posted with Totto that they had a very “amazing” talk, that they have a solution. I know Mercedes ideal person would be Bottas, no drama, fast, consistent, brings in the points. Hamilton would be happy cause he would be confident against a Bottas.

    So I bet, they have secured Bottas but will not announce as Williams needs to find a solution to get a driver in place, I’m only guessing but maybe Merc has signed a tentative deal with Williams for lets say 3 weeks and if Williams cant secure Massa or anyone else they feel comfortable with in the next 3 weeks then the deal would be off. Hence why Merc is holding off announcing anything until January. :-) just my take :-)

    1. To add to my comment, I bet Massa will come back out of retirement, Wehrlein would be jsut too young to lead the team at williams and inexperinced with the technical aspects of the team.

      Bottas to Merc
      Massa back at Williams

      1. Williams also has the option of bringing Paul DiResta back. He’s fairly experienced and fast, has been a reserve driver this year for them, knows the team and as far as i know had a few sponsors with him at FI. Also, next year is supposed to be a lot tougher phisically, so older drivers might struggle a bit in long races.

        In my opinion, he could be a better option than Massa.

  11. If it was for 1 year only i would go see what Mark Webber was up to. They could then swap him out for one of the younger guys who would have had 1 year more experience by then. If Webber wasn’t interested i would talk to JB next. They just need someone who can finish in the top end of the points each weekend. Grab a podium every other race. That would be enough for another WCC.

    1. But these guys are retired! Their F1 / competitive days are over.

  12. If Mercedes are going to take the Ferrari position of we won’t put a young driver in our car, I think Hulkenberg would be the driver to target. Of course, he’s German and I don’t think he’s one to openly question or challenge the pitwall. I doubt a team like Mercedes would want two such drivers in their lineup so a quiet, obedient driver would be the the preferred choice.

    1. @velocityboy
      He’s never getting a drive with a top team, and frankly, doesn’t deserve one.
      Being German, and compliant, doesn’t make up for being mediocre in an F1 car, and he’s lucky to be going to Renault.

  13. As suggested by BBC, but seems most likely real solution:-
    Williams need an over 25 in the seat as part of their Martini contract – Bottas to Merc and Williams promote their reserve driver having screwed Merc for every penny they can get; Williams more about the car than the drivers.

    1. Alex Lynn? I can think of about ten drivers before thinking about him! He was a real deception this year!

  14. Since all of these comments are speculative at best why not have some fun and go in another direction with who deserves this golden opportunity at Mercedes…

    How about any driver, from any era in Formula One? Who would have torn it up with the Merc?

    I suggest Gilles Villenueve. This guy was a master at car control and had balls. Even Lewis could learn from him.

    Who would you pick and why??

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      15th December 2016, 16:04

      Senna to show Hamilton who’s boss, naturally.

    2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      15th December 2016, 23:47

      Schumacher (2006 spec) – he would’ve had the beating of Hamilton in the head as well as on track.

    3. Jackie Stewart.

  15. Mercedes really don’t want Werlin in the car, not even for a stopgap year.

  16. I’m hearing that Bottas to Mercedes is extremely likely and Massa will be back at Williams to replace him a one year deal. This makes sense for both parties; Bottas whilst not spectacular is a talented driver who is capable and is error-free and will bring rewards for Mercedes. Massa; whilst being on an increasing downward slope; will bring experience to Williams as a last minute replacement and help Stroll.

    1. @lolzerbob – I’ve not heard that. From what I’ve read the Bottas links are losing momentum, and a recent effort to obtain Sainz has been frustrated. If Williams do lose Bottas, then they really need to hold talks with Stroll about delaying his debut until 2018, so Williams can run Wehrlein plus either Massa, Nasr or maybe Gasly. I guess the ideal line-up would be Stroll-Button, but that is very unlikely. A Wehrlein-Gasly pairing with Stroll in a learning capacity on the sidelines would make most sense in my mind, should Williams lose Bottas.

      1. @william-brierty . If that happens then Williams are surely planning for Bottas to leave?

        1. @lolzerbob
          There keeps being more and more things that make it seem true:

          But some people say the more you feel it will go one way, Mercedes could suddenly and unexpectedly go for someone who you simply didn’t expect! I don’t think that will happen and think it will be Bottas.

  17. There are three avenues that Mercedes can take, each worse than the one that came before. Mercedes can either sign Wehrlein, and risk his inexperience costing them a constructors’ championship, spend an eye-watering amount to obtain Bottas and freely admit that they’ve devastatingly compromised a faithful customer team, or refer Rosberg to the CRB (Contract Recognition Board) and look more generally at compelling Nico to remain in the sport. It would be completely unprecedented in any case, but things are getting serious now.

    What I don’t understand, if Rosberg can walk away from a contract on account of wanting to spend more time with his family, why can’t Sainz do the same, spend a week with his family, then sign for Mercedes? I guess it’s more about exclusivity of service and intellectual property rather than whether a driver is actually driving. Sainz would need to go on gardening leave…

    1. Both parties must agree to null a contract. If RB won’t release Sainz, there’s nothing he can do.

  18. Psssst Toto…..
    Just nic Frijns from Andretti find a superlicence and get him in the sim ASAP!

  19. Bring Mick Schumacher or Nick Heidfeld or Ralf Schumacher or H.H.Frentzen or Jochen Mass or Hans Herrmann or… (will follow if needed)

    1. Lewisham Milton
      16th December 2016, 22:51

      Hans Heyer! Truly an F1 legend.

  20. Come on Toto, throw all your money at Toro Rosso and get Sainz please.

    1. I’d love to see Sainz in that Benz!

  21. Sainz seems the logical answer for me, super talented with plenty F1 experience.

    Would allow Bottas to stay at Williams avoiding the x2 -21 drivers with Martini as head sponsor.

    Also opens up a Torro Rosso seat for RBR gp2 winner Galsy.

    Sainz vs Hamilton and the Red Bull boys would be a great addition to the new aero formula.

  22. Vettel’s contract must be pretty sticky… Since he writes them himself though I’m sure he snuck in a back door.

  23. No problem, more than two weeks for Mercedes to come to their senses and hire JPM for 2017!

  24. I certainly don’t see Massa returning. I think he knows only too well that he’s past his best, and I’m sure he’s happy having retired now.

    The only retired driver I could see is Button returning if McLaren were to lose Alonso, although I don’t see that either.

  25. Secure a Mercedes seat is a dream for every driver but the nightmare is he has to take on the beast Hamilton.with Hamilton in Mercedes Alonso and lvettel with wont come .a lose in battle with Lewis will damage their reputation especially vettel’s.

  26. Who could have possibly thought there would be difficulties in getting any driver in the Mercedes seat..

    Shame that Alonso seems out of the running.

  27. Bottas to Mercedes, Nasr to Williams, Pascal to Sauber and a new guy (hopefully Gasly to Manor).

    You read it first.

  28. Well I do go with the view that Merc might be waiting on a decision from Williams. As someone said above maybe this is not forthcoming yet.

    I think we know for certain that Williams don’t really want to have Wehrlein and Stroll. They would probably settle for Massa if they had to but we do know they were very keen on Button coming to them before he announced he would not drive in 2017. Maybe they are talking to both but one of them, most likely Button, may have asked for some extra time to consider it. It’s more likely to be Jenson as I imagine Massa would jump at the chance.

    Equally of course it could mean they are trying to get A.N.Other and none of us know who this is. I certainly think it is quite unlikely it will be Sainz. Why would the Red Bull group release him to make Mercedes’ life any easier.

  29. They will end up getting no one and end up having to fit a heavily pregnant Suzie Wolff into the car!!!!

  30. Time for Simona de Silvestro! That would be a shock announcement!

  31. Williams won’t let Bottas go to Mercedes without two things in place: a good driver – preferably one they already know – and a fat discount on next year’s engines. Without a suitable driver, the financial package would have to be enormous, and not even Mercedes are that spendy.

    Alternatively, Williams may take the view that Mercedes engines are about to be eclipsed by Renault and possibly even Honda (who are pouring gazillions into this to save face). If Williams were to sign up for Honda engines for 2018, I expect Button would be available, unless Merc manage to bag him first. I very much doubt McLaren could, or would, stop Button driving for another team next year, and Jenson would surely be tempted to have another crack if a seat at the world champions was offered to him.

  32. Well well, Alonso obviously said he wants to wait and see if the McHonda is still a dog, if yes, he will jump ship, if no, there’s always Pascal Werlein.

    1. I’m secretly still hoping that the Bottas to Merc move doesn’t work out.. and a last minute call from Toto ….and Alonso has dumped Mclaren for a championship winning car.

      Realistically though, the Bottas deal is as good as done, especially after the Paddy Lowe move was confirmed. Williams are going to be left with the uninspiring driver line up of either Massa-Stroll or Wehrlein-Stroll.. both are equally poor, but in different ways. But hopefully Paddy should be able to find that extra time in the car that will be lacking in the drivers.

  33. If Merc use a similar philosophy as when they hired Rosberg in the first place, Bottas is a good replacement and its the bill.

    He’s fastish, consistent, a team player, and given the opportunity can win races, even a WDC if circumstances align.

    The car is still going to be fast, Merc know how to build a great chassis

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