Formula 1

Mercedes look to Fernando Alonso as Nico Rosberg replacement

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed the team are considering signing Fernando Alonso to replace Nico Rosberg.

Following the shock announcement that the newly crowned world champion would be retiring, Mercedes have been left with a huge hole to fill ahead of next season.

When asked about the replacement, Wolff refused to rule out a move for Alonso, which would reunite the Spaniard with his former partner at McLaren, Lewis Hamilton.

“You have to consider Fernando.” Said Wolff.

“He is a driver I respect a lot. He combines talent, speed and experience. It’s all there.”

Despite his admirers at Mercedes, McLaren are adamant the two time world champion will not be leaving.

“We have a contract with Fernando and he is very happy.” Said Zak Brown, the new McLaren boss.

“Obviously he wants be winning races, as do we, but I am not worried about that scenario.”

With the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo all under contract for next season, Mercedes’ list of options runs thin.

Despite the interest in Alonso, Pascal Wehrlein remains favourite to succeed Rosberg for the time being.

The young German is relatively untested, but has been earmarked by Mercedes for a big role in the team at some point in the future.

Notwithstanding Wehrlein’s inexperience, Wolff insists Mercedes won’t be appointing a subordinate to race alongside Hamilton.

“We will maintain the system that we have. Both drivers will have equal status and equal opportunity to the best of our abilities. We owe it to the fans. You can’t have a pecking order.”

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