Jack Leslie  |    |   0  |  8 December 2016

Mercedes needs to be 'brave' with new F1 driver decision

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says the team needs to make a “brave decision” on its replacement for Nico Rosberg.

The German driver confirmed his retirement from F1 last week, just days after taking the 2016 title in Abu Dhabi.

Wolff previously said Mercedes will take its time on deciding its second driver for 2017 alongside Lewis Hamilton and has now admitted Rosberg’s decision put the team in a tough position.

"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.

"Maybe we need to make a brave decision in the same way Nico has made a brave decision."

A number of drivers have been linked to the spare F1 seat, with Wolff saying Mercedes “has to consider” Fernando Alonso and Pascal Wehrlein admitting he feels “ready” if the he gets the opportunity.

Valtteri Bottas – who signed a new deal last month – has also been mentioned as a contender, but Wolff says he is too important for Williams to lose.

He explained: “Besides the personal relationship, where he's a very likeable and intelligent driver, he's also somebody who is very, very fast.

“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.”

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