Following Nico Rosberg announcing his retirement just days after winning his first ever World Championship, Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe has admitted the timing was not ideal.
Being apart of the Silver Arrow garage since 2010, Lowe lauded the German for helping them bring success since their return to the sport, winning three consecutive Constructors’ Championships.
With most of the race seats confirmed on the grid for next year, Lowe explained that Mercedes have plenty of work to do in finding a suitable replacement, adding that it will be even more difficult replacing someone like Rosberg,
"From an engineering point of view, losing Nico is like losing a corner of the car," he 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."