F1 champion Nico Rosberg says that, if he was choosing his replacement at Mercedes, he would’ve gone for McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
The German driver admitted that if he had to pick who replaced him at Mercedes for F1 2017, he’d have chosen Alonso.
Rosberg said that, as he is now simply a fan of F1, it’d be great to see Alonso and Lewis Hamilton battling it out in equal machinery.
However, he added that for the team, the partnership simply wouldn’t work – we all know what happened the last time Alonso and Hamilton were team-mates.
“OK, because I’m now a fan, and on that side of the fence, it’s very easy to respond,” Rosberg told Spanish newspaper Marc. “Everyone says Alonso and I say it too, because there would be fireworks with Hamilton [he laughs]. As a fan, it would be nice, but for the team, it wouldn’t work. They’ve found a great solution.”
He was quick to praise his actual replacement, Bottas, though:
“They’ve found a great solution. Bottas is fast and though Hamilton will be at a very, very high level and it will be difficult to beat him, I have proved that he can. I have him on pole in the first race in Australia.”
Rosberg’s retirement from F1 was a big shock and Mercedes boss Niki Lauda seemed unhappy with the short notice of Rosberg’s decision.
But Rosberg said he had not felt any anger from Mercedes or Lauda:
“Angry? No, they have a lot of respect for me and I appreciate it. With Lauda it has been more complicated and though he seems angry in the press, with me he isn’t. He told me in person that he took off his hat to me. He’s been very supportive after three very good years working together.”
Hamilton and Bottas will race for Mercedes this season and the team’s 2017 F1 car will be revealed on the 23 February.