An attractive job is up for grabs in formula 1. But the awarding of this title is apparently not so easy. Shortly after the surprise resignation of world champion rosberg on december 2. December, lauda had announced that a decision would be made before christmas. Later, mercedes announced that lewis hamilton’s new teammate would not be announced before january 3. January would be announced.
"The decision will still take until the end of january, because the negotiations are very complex. There are two ways: do we take the young or an experienced?", said team supervisor niki lauda to the broadcaster servus tv. "We have a huge problem. Because we had the best driver pairing," lauda said. "Now a new set of regulations is coming, with which everything will be thrown anew anyway."From 2017 on, the cars will be wider. It would therefore make sense for mercedes to bring in an experienced driver alongside hamilton who, like rosberg, can use his class and experience to drive the development of the car forward.
"Every single one of the current race drivers" had contacted him immediately, claimed lauda, who heads the casting of silver arrow candidates together with mercedes motorsport boss toto wolff. The problem, however, is that at such a late stage, virtually all candidates have a valid contract for 2017.
Valtteri bottas is considered the favorite. Williams is said to have rejected an initial offer from the silver arrows for the finn. However, co-team principal claire williams told the bbc a few days ago: "if we were to allow valtteri to leave us, we would only do so if an experienced, reliable alternative was available, someone like felipe massa, for example." the brazilian has actually finished his career in formula 1 with the end of this season. However, according to media reports, the 2008 near-world champion is now in talks with williams about stepping down from the race.
An alternative to bottas would be pascal wehrlein. He comes from the mercedes junior program, but has just completed his debut season in formula 1 for manor. There are doubts as to whether wehrlein can already hold his own alongside hamilton. On the other hand, wehrlein is one of the few drivers who have already driven on the 2017 tires – an experience advantage that should not be underestimated.