Paddy Lowe insists the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team will look at all the available candidates to step into Nico Rosberg’s shoes in 2017, and he emphasises that the team will likely only look at the drivers available on the market.
Names such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas have been banded around in recent days since Rosberg announced his departure from the sport on the back of winning the World Championship, but the technical director of Mercedes insists they will look at all of the available drivers before making the final decision.
“The first part of the process will be to find out what the list looks like, then we’ll do our analysis,” said Lowe on Autosport. “I think we are going to have to look at candidates that are actually available.
“The fear in a way is if we can’t find a decent pilot for the other seat to replace Nico, if we do have a strong car, might have a driver running away with it, which would be good for us, but not good for the show.”
Lowe insists Pascal Wehrlein is in contention for the drive but it is not guaranteed that the protégé of Mercedes-Benz will replace Rosberg in 2017, as the team seek a driver who can bring in the points much like the outgoing champion has.
“It’s not a forgone conclusion, we’ll have to see who is available and do some analysis,” said Lowe. “There are different aspects, we’ll be looking at previous form and what we could expect in terms of performance and consistency.
“It’s one thing to be quick, but can you go out there and score the points every week? I just want someone who can score the points in the way that Nico has done.”