Toto Wolff has revealed he is prepared to make a 'brave' choice when deciding who will replace the retired Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes F1 team.
Following last week's shock revelation that Rosberg will retire from the sport just days after landing his first F1 world title, attention has now turned to who will replace the German in the triple title-winning team.
As it stands, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein remains the moderate favourite to land the high-profile seat, but his relative lack of experience and the team's hesitance in identifying him as the front runner have cast doubts on his candidacy.
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However, while Wolff admits the timing of Rosberg's announcement has 'compromised' the decision-making process, he suggests being forced to make a 'brave' decision – seemingly a reference to Wehrlein – isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"Clearly, with Nico taking the decision quite late we are in a bit of a compromised situation because if we had known three months ago there were more options available,” he told Sky Sports F1
"Maybe we need to make a brave decision in the same way Nico has made a brave decision. We need the quickest guy who makes the least mistakes and understands that this is a team game.
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Wolff does, however, suggest Mercedes won't attempt to prise Valtteri Bottas out of his Williams contract given his importance to a team that has just taken on rookie Lance Stroll as his team-mate for F1 2017.
"Besides the personal relationship, where he's a very likeable and intelligent driver, he's also somebody who is very, very fast," claimed Wolff. "But he's with Williams now, the lead driver, and is very important for the combination with Lance Stroll. Claire [Williams] and her team very much rely on him."
The term 'brave' is a nod to Wolff's reaction to Rosberg's sensational decision to quit the sport as champion. At the time of the announcement, Wolff said it was 'a brave decision and testament to the strength of his [Rosberg's] character.
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