Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement will be a blessing for at least one driver as someone new is going to be racing for the championship-winning Mercedes team next season.
With three championship doubles on the trot a Mercedes race-seat is the most coveted in Formula 1.
However it remains to be seen who will be the lucky driver to partner Lewis Hamilton.
PlanetF1 takes a look at the six most likely candidates.
Although he has not set the F1 stage alight that was more to do with his Manor race-seat than his ability.
Even then he scored in Austria, only the second time in history that a Manor driver has reached the top-ten, and he made several Q2 appearances during the course of the season.
He is also available, which means Mercedes will not have to pay to break his contract.
The double World Champion is desperate to add a third title to his tally before retiring and Mercedes is without a doubt the best place to be to win one of those.
Just a few months ago, motorsport boss Toto Wolff expressed an interest in Alonso, saying he would be his number one pick if Rosberg didn’t re-sign.
“Fernando is one of the best drivers in history and I like his character, but our priority now is Nico,” Wolff told El Mundo.
“If [Rosberg] does not want to renew, then we will consider other options, like Fernando. [Alonso’s] age is not a problem – his speed and his motivation are still there.”
Bottas is already familiar with Mercedes power unit and has shown to be a consistent driver and one that can get the results if the package is there.
He reached the podium in Canada this past season, the only driver aside from Sergio Perez not racing for a top-three team to do so.
Unless Ferrari can capitalise on the new 2017 regulations and turn their fortunes around, the four-time World Champion is facing yet another season of starring at Mercedes – and even Red Bull’s – rear wings.
And wouldn’t we all love to see Hamilton v Vettel in equal machinery.
However, during the course of this season he made it clear that he was considering his options before committing to the team. And what better option is there than a Mercedes race-seat.
Even though he only raced in nine grands prix this season, the 20-year-old did enough to beat Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein to a Force India ride.
Another Mercedes protégé, and with Force India running Mercedes engines, that could be an easy contract to break.
The 2009 World Champion has endured a difficult end to his F1 career, struggling just to score points in the last two seasons.
With his last podium finish back at the 2014 Australian GP, the dream of winning races and fighting for a second World title may entice the Brit back into F1.