Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg says he would have preferred Fernando Alonso to team up with Lewis Hamilton’s at Mercedes instead of Valtteri Bottas as his replacement.
Less than a week after Rosberg claimed the 2016 world championship at the Abu Dhabi season finale he had announced his retirement from F1 in December 2016.
This came as shock in the drivers’ market, with Mercedes eventually signing Williams driver Valtteri Bottas to replace Rosberg after Felipe Massa reversed his decision to retire.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Rosberg said Alonso would have been his ideal choice of replacement as a “fan” instead of Bottas, but admitted such a move would not have worked.
“OK, because I’m now a fan, and on that side of the fence, it’s very easy to respond,” said the German, when asked who he’d have preferred to take his place.
“Everyone says Alonso and I say it too, because there would be fireworks with Hamilton.
“As a fan, it would be nice, but for the team it wouldn’t work. They’ve found a great solution.
“Bottas is fast and though Hamilton will be at a very, very high level and it will be difficult to beat him, I have proved that he can.”