On the hunt for someone to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after Nico Rosberg retired, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says they will have to make a brave decision.
With names like Pascal Wehrlein, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso touted, the Silver Arrow boss admitted that his options are limited because of the late timing of the announcement.
“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.”
Chatting about Wehrlein, Wolff explained that he would fit in well if promoted to Mercedes and added that he and his former team-mate Esteban Ocon, who pipped him to the Force India race seat, are ones to look out for.
“We need the quickest guy who makes the least mistakes and understands that this is a team game,” he said.
“Sometimes in life things turn out differently than you expected.
“I think in terms of performance, both have had great races in the past, had solid performances with Manor, and they deserve a future in Formula 1.
“Therefore I consider both of them as future stars.”
Despite being an admirer of Bottas, Wolff understands that Williams won’t let go of their prized Finn easily if they are to enter negotiations for a possible drive at Mercedes.
“Besides the personal relationship, where he’s a very likeable and intelligent driver, he’s also somebody who is very, very fast,” claimed Wolff.
“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.”