Rosberg: 'Bottas the safe option for Mercedes'

Williams driver Bottas has emerged as a strong favourite to be Hamilton's team-mate next year, but Wehrlein has impressed as a junior driver for Mercedes and is available after a season with Manor.

NicoRosbergandValtteri Bottascropped

Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas

Nico Rosberg sees Valtteri Bottas as the "safe" option to replace him at Mercedes but the Formula One world champion also thinks Pascal Wehrlein would be a good fit for his former employers.

Rosberg sensationally retired from F1 this month after dethroning Lewis Hamilton to be crowned champion for the first time in a dramatic finale to the season in Abu Dhabi.

That left Mercedes with a decision to make over who should fill a seat which they did not expect to be vacated.

Williams driver Bottas has emerged as a strong favourite to be Hamilton's team-mate next year, but Wehrlein has impressed as a junior driver for Mercedes and is available after a season with Manor.

Rosberg says both Bottas and Wehrlein could do a job for the Silver Arrows.

Speaking after being awarded the 2016 ADAC Motorsport Personality of the Year award, the German said: "Obviously I hope that they will find a great driver.

"At the moment it seems to be between [Pascal] Wehrlein and [Valtteri] Bottas. We'll see.

"Both of them are certainly good drivers. Pascal is a German hope for the future. With Bottas, you know a little more of what you'll get - playing it safe a bit. Both of them would be good fits for the team."

Rosberg is taking time with his family before deciding what his next challenge will be, but said he is keen to remain in motorsport.

"Nothing is concrete right now. But sure, I need a challenge in my life, and I will keep searching for it in different places," he added.

"I still want to be involved in motorsport in some way because I'm still a fan of our sport. Other than that, it's now family time."