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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1Ferrari102
2Mercedes99
3Red Bull47
4Force India17
5Williams-Mercedes16
6Toro Rosso12
7Haas8
8Renault2
9Sauber0
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari68
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes61
3Valtteri BottasMercedes38
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari34
5Max VerstappenRed Bull25
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes16
8Sergio PerezForce India14
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso10
10Kevin MagnussenHaas4
11Romain GrosjeanHaas4
12Esteban OconForce India3
13Nico HulkenbergRenault2
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso2
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
16Marcus EricssonSauber0
17Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Pascal WehrleinSauber0
21Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0