Mercedes F1 reluctant to chase Vettel or Alonso to replace Rosberg

Mercedes does not want to "interfere" with Formula 1 rivals Ferrari and McLaren as it looks for a replacement for Nico Rosberg, according to motorsport boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes F1 reluctant to chase Vettel or Alonso to replace Rosberg

Other than a single seat at Sauber and two at Manor, F1's 2017 grid was settled before newly-crowned champion Rosberg announced his shock retirement on Friday.

Who should replace Rosberg?

When asked about trying to lure the contracted Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari or Fernando Alonso from McLaren, Wolff said that was not high on his agenda.

"It's not my intention to interfere with Ferrari's internal issues," Wolff told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

"And I don't even know if Sebastian really has the intention to come to us.

"It's the same thing [with Alonso]: what would Ferrari and McLaren do without Vettel and Alonso in December?

"Or Williams without [Valtteri] Bottas? [That] option is the one I like the least."

Mercedes juniors Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon gained race experience in 2016 with Manor.

Ocon has subsequently been signed by Mercedes-powered Force India on a multi-year deal and Wehrlein had emerged as the frontrunner for the remaining Sauber drive.

Wolff said their promotion was as an option, along with hiring a dedicated 'number two' - in contrast to the Hamilton and Rosberg relationship - and testing the market, despite his reluctance.

"The first [path] is to consider having a number one and a number two," he said,

"A bit like Ferrari during the [Michael] Schumacher and [Felipe] Massa era.

"That is, hire a driver that guarantees points for the constructors' [championship].

"The second hypothesis is to promote our young drivers, Ocon or Werhlein.

"After all, other teams have given a chance to youngsters like [Max] Verstappen and [Stoffel] Vandoorne.

"The third path is to get back on the market in order to find another top driver.

"On Monday I will be in Brackley and I will a have meeting with Ron Meadows, Andrew Shovlin and a group of top-level engineers, and we'll start working to find the best solution.

"It's a new and exciting challenge. After all, even if we have won 19 races, this has been a really complicated season, full of hurdles."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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