Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff has “no doubt” that Nico Rosberg will sign a new contract with the German marque and be part of its 2017 driver line-up.
Rosberg is understood to be in the final year of his Mercedes contract, and is currently in negotiations regarding an extension beyond the end of the 2016 season.
Rosberg had been linked with a move to Ferrari for 2017, but with Kimi Raikkonen being retained by the Italian team alongside Sebastian Vettel, there is no longer room at Maranello.
Both Mercedes and Rosberg have remained confident of agreeing a new deal beyond the end of the season, with Wolff expressing his belief once again during Friday’s FIA press conference.
“You know that we are in discussion with Nico and hopefully these discussions will come to a positive end soon,” Wolff said.
“I have no doubt at the moment that they will so absolutely yeah, this is going to be the line-up next year.”
When asked if the deal was 100 per cent, Wolff said: “You can never say 100 per cent because you don’t know what happens tomorrow and after tomorrow.
“If one gets food poisoning he will not be driving – so you can never confirm 100 per cent.
“But I am very, very confident that will be the line-up.”
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.