Mercedes' Toto Wolff says Fernando Alonso or Valtteri Bottas would be its target to replace Lewis Hamilton in the team for the 2016 F1 World Championship should they fail to agree a new deal with the new champion.

Hamilton, who clinched his second F1 world title over Nico Rosberg in November, is contracted to stay with the German manufacturer until the end of the 2015 season, but Mercedes is keen to have him extend his stay beyond that.

Indeed, Hamilton has given little indication that he wants to leave Mercedes - particularly now his rift with Rosberg appears to have healed -, with Wolff telling Gazetta dello Sport that he is not rushing the discussion, claiming 'There is no hurry, it will be discussed during the year'.

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Nonetheless, though Wolff says he is confident Hamilton and Rosberg will stay put beyond 2015, he has already identified the drivers he would approach if necessary, highlighting new McLaren signing Alonso and Williams' Bottas.

"I am optimistic, the priority is to continue with these drivers. But if not possible, Alonso is the first alternative. Then there is Bottas too."

Indeed, though Alonso is known to have signed a two-year deal with McLaren, it is widely believed he has clauses in his contract should the car - which will use a power unit from F1 returnee Honda - fail to prove competitive, thus potentially opening the door for Mercedes.

Though the move to McLaren is seen as a risk, particularly given the new Honda engine failed to perform during its first outing at Abu Dhabi in November, Wolff believes Alonso has the potential to perform beyond its capabilities regardless.

"Alonso is dangerous with any car," he added. "If you have in your hands a car that should finish sixth, he can take it to third place."

Bottas, meanwhile, is committed to Williams until the end of the 2015 season and is believed to have sparked interest from Ferrari as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen.