‘Mercedes should discuss driver options with me’


With Mercedes still on the hunt for Nico Rosberg’s replacement, triple World Champion Lewis Hamilton said the team should at least consult with him about the decision.

Hamilton, though, also revealed that he doesn’t have the final say on the decision, but he should be involved in the conversation.

“Basically, once they’ve dwindled it down to five drivers, or whatever it is, the shortlist, contractually they have to discuss with me,” the Brit told Channel 4 television.

“But I don’t have a say who it is.”

With Rosberg now retired, Hamilton is said to go unchallenged next year when he aims for his fourth World title.

However, the Mercedes driver reckons that the Silver Arrows will not just choose anyone to partner him next year, asking for someone to push him like the way Rosberg did.

“It is important who we have in the second car – it’s important for the team’s morale,” he said.

“We’ve seen in other teams and times where it can be a poisonous effect on a team, the arch rivalry between drivers. And so for sure that’s really important, because I’m really happy here, I love being where I am.

“We’ve got to make sure that whatever we bring is at least as good as what we had, if not better, in terms of creating that energy.”

With reports suggesting that Williams driver Valtteri Bottas is being lined-up, Hamilton said he is not afraid of anyone on the grid.

“They can put any driver they want – bring Sebastian (Vettel), Fernando (Alonso), bring whoever you really want,” said Hamilton.

“I drove against Fernando in my first year (at McLaren in 2007), and beat him, so that’s not a worry for me.

“I am happy to drive against any of them. But in terms of what is best for the team, probably not the best ideas.”