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Mercedes ponders options as drivers come forward

Toto Wolff hints at a 'quick' decision by Mercedes over who will replace Nico Rosberg as drivers scramble to show potential availability.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has revealed the team is looking to make a 'quick' decision on who will replace Nico Rosberg following the new world champion's shock decision to retire.

The German rocked the sport on Friday by revealing he will exit the sport just days after wrapping up a long awaited F1 world title in Abu Dhabi.

The unexpected announcement has caught many – not least Mercedes – by surprise with the team now making urgent enquiries as to who would be capable, or perhaps more importantly available, to replace him.

QUIZ: The 2016 season is over… but how much about it can you remember?

The bookies favourite remains Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein given his availability and close association to the team. However, his lack of experience at such a high level could count against him if other drivers become available to fill the 'big shoes' left by Rosberg.

“I admire the decision because it is rare you have an individual that says I am getting out of there, on the top of my career but on the other side he leaves some big shoes to fill,” Wolff said.

“There are a couple of guys that are interested to wear them, but they are a big and we need to come up with a decision, look at the drivers that are out there and then hopefully – quickly – decide.”

READ: Nico Rosberg shocks F1 by announcing retirement

Though the 2017 F1 grid is almost complete it is understood several notable drivers have made contact with Valtteri Bottas – whom is partly managed by Wolff – and Sebastian Vettel considered potential options.

Talking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Niki Lauda says he is received a number of phone calls from drivers on the grid.'

"Practically half of Formula One and maybe more. I am constantly taking calls."

Revealing he didn't initially believe Rosberg when he was told of his 'truly incredible' plans, Lauda admits he was upset at the news.

"I took it badly. I was not expecting it. Nobody in Mercedes imagined he could say 'enough'. At first I didn't believe him. 'Nico,' I told him. "Are you pulling my leg? Is it a joke?' But he seriously said it was all true. Truly incredible."

READ: Lewis Hamilton responds to Nico Rosberg's unexpected retirement

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Simon Cartledge

December 04, 2016 9:26 PM

Simon Cartledge: They could get a mid ranking F3000 driver and he'd still finish at least 2nd in the championship. All about the car.
you do realise that f3000 last raced in 2005 ?
My point still stands.

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