Mercedes has confirmed it will not announce a replacement for retiring F1 champion Nico Rosberg until 2017.
Rosberg, who sealed his maiden F1 world title in the 2016 season finale in Abu Dhabi, announced he was bowing out of Formula 1 on December 2 – despite having two more years on his Mercedes deal.
This left the German team frantically searching for a replacement, with most drivers of suitable experience and speed already under contract.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda had commented that Mercedes was left “in a huge hole” by Rosberg’s sudden decision – and while the German outfit appeared keen to find a solution sooner than later, it has now confirmed there will be no communications regarding Rosberg’s replacement until January 3 at earliest.
“Nothing is planned for the period between now and our return to work on January 3,” the Mercedes spokesman confirmed.
Valtteri Bottas and Pascal Wehrlein are believed to be the two main contenders for place alongside Lewis Hamilton in the 2017 line-up.