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
1Mercedes765
2Red Bull460
3Ferrari398
4Force India173
5Williams-Mercedes138
6McLaren76
7Toro Rosso71
8Haas28
9Renault8
10Sauber2
11Manor1
DriversTeamPoints
1Nico RosbergMercedes385
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes380
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull256
4Sebastian VettelFerrari212
5Max VerstappenRed Bull204
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari186
7Sergio PerezForce India101
8Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes85
9Nico HulkenbergForce India72
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren54
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes53
12Carlos SainzToro Rosso46
13Romain GrosjeanHaas28
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso25
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren21
16Kevin MagnussenRenault7
17Felipe NasrSauber2
18Pascal WehrleinManor1
19Jolyon PalmerRenault1
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
21Rio HaryantoManor0
22Esteban OconManor0
23Marcus EricssonSauber0
24Esteban GutierrezHaas0