Mercedes F1's Lowe says Rosberg retirement like losing a wheel

World champion Nico Rosberg will be tough to replace because it is like losing a corner of the Mercedes Formula 1 car, says the team's executive technical director Paddy Lowe

Mercedes F1's Lowe says Rosberg retirement like losing a wheel

Just five days after winning the 2016 F1 title, Rosberg stunned the world of motorsport by announcing his retirement with immediate effect on Friday.

Who should replace Rosberg in 2017?

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said Rosberg retires as "the best driver in Formula 1 today" and added the world champion outfit will take its time in naming a replacement.

Rosberg, who was named International Racing Driver of the Year at the Autosport Awards in London on Sunday, beat Hamilton to his maiden title by just five points.

"From an engineering point of view, losing Nico is like losing a corner of the car," Lowe told Autosport.

"How are you going to recover that?

"We'll be putting a lot of work in to that over the next few weeks, making sure we make the best decision possible.

"It is difficult because from a technical, engineering point of view we exist as an organisation to go out there and earn points for championships.

"That's a very, very tough process to go through - we've got some very, very tough competitors.

"Losing such a critical component in the team as Nico at this stage is something that will set us back a bit.

"To break the records we've done in the last three seasons you need a great car and a great team to produce that car.

"But you need fantastic drivers to go out there and score those points at a very, very low error rate."

The German won nine races and took eight poles during the season and only failed to make the podium five times in 21 races.

Despite the void Rosberg would leave, Lowe said the 31-year-old's decision made "perfect sense".

"There's the human side and we share some admiration with the rest of the world for Nico making such a brave call," added Lowe.

"We know him well, we know his family, and we understand the move he wants to make.

"It makes perfect sense to all of us. That's the human aspect."

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