Wehrlein more risky than Bottas says Rosberg

Nico Rosberg says Mercedes should consider taking the "risk" of signing up German youngster Pascal Wehrlein to replace him for 2017.

The German team will use the full Christmas break to weigh up its options, but Brazilian reports suggest Valtteri Bottas is a real contender to emerge from his Williams contract.

The reports suggest Brazilian Felipe Massa has even been offered EUR 5 million to consider cancelling his retirement plans to fill that hole at Grove.

"Time to enjoy, have fun and ..." Massa wrote on Instagram, adding an 'emoji' depicting a smiley face in deep thought.

If the Bottas-Massa deal does not come off, Mercedes junior Wehrlein is Mercedes' clear second preference.

Rosberg told German television Sky Deutschland: "Wehrlein is our German hope for the future. Bottas is more of a developed driver so certainly Pascal would be slightly more risky, but perhaps he would be even more successful."

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has lashed out at Mercedes in the wake of the 2016 season finale, criticising bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe's reactions to the 'backing up' controversy.

"Ultimately, seeing what had been said afterwards, I felt quite disrespected by the individuals who had spoken," he told Britain's Channel 4.

(GMM)

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