Nico Rosberg backs Pascal Wehrlein for 2017 seat

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg celebrates on the podium after winning the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit in Manama on April 3, 2016
© AFP
New world champion Nico Rosberg backs countryman Pascal Wehrlein's suitability to replace him at Mercedes.

New world champion Nico Rosberg has backed countryman Pascal Wehrlein's suitability to replace him at Mercedes.

Stars including Fernando Alonso are also on the team's 2017 shortlist, but bookmakers say that Mercedes's most experienced junior, 2016 Manor driver Wehrlein, is the favourite.

"Pascal is a huge hope for Germany for the future," Rosberg said. "Of course he has to be on the shortlist."

However, the 31-year-old said that he does not want to actively make recommendations to Mercedes about who should be named to succeed him.

"I am not best able to judge this," Rosberg said.

When pressed by Italy's Autosprint to say who should get the best seat on the grid next year, Rosberg simply said: "I hope a good driver who makes a good fight with [Lewis] Hamilton."

Rosberg denied Hamilton the 2016 title at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg of Mercedes gets into his car in the garage during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes250
2Ferrari226
3Red Bull137
4Force India79
5Williams-Mercedes37
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas21
8Renault18
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari153
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes139
3Valtteri BottasMercedes111
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull92
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari73
6Max VerstappenRed Bull45
7Sergio PerezForce India44
8Esteban OconForce India35
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso29
10Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes20
11Nico HulkenbergRenault18
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes17
13Kevin MagnussenHaas11
14Romain GrosjeanHaas10
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
19Jolyon PalmerRenault0
20Marcus EricssonSauber0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
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