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
1Mercedes161
2Ferrari153
3Red Bull72
4Force India53
5Toro Rosso21
6Williams-Mercedes18
7Renault14
8Haas9
9Sauber4
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari104
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes98
3Valtteri BottasMercedes63
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari49
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull37
6Max VerstappenRed Bull35
7Sergio PerezForce India34
8Esteban OconForce India19
9Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes18
10Carlos SainzToro Rosso17
11Nico HulkenbergRenault14
12Romain GrosjeanHaas5
13Kevin MagnussenHaas4
14Pascal WehrleinSauber4
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
16Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0
17Marcus EricssonSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0