Nico Rosberg believes that Mercedes should consider signing Sebastian Vettel to its Formula 1 team for the 2018 season once the German’s contract with Ferrari is up.
Vettel won four world championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, but is yet to find the same kind of form with Ferrari, having won just three races since joining in 2015.
Vettel enters the final year of his contract with the Scuderia in 2017, and is set to be part of the ‘silly season’ speculation surrounding the driver market through the coming year.
Rosberg walked away from F1 after winning the world championship with Mercedes for the first time last year, making way for Valtteri Bottas to join the team from Williams.
Bottas is on an initial one-year contract, with his seat set to come under scrutiny once again this year given the available drivers elsewhere.
Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Rosberg said that he thinks Mercedes should consider signing Vettel for 2018 should he become available.
“It would definitely make sense for Sebastian to have a look at that Mercedes seat for 2018 and for Mercedes to have a look at him and to consider him,” Rosberg said.
“For 2018, that’s obvious. He’s one of the best drivers out there and he doesn’t have a contract for 2018, so they should explore the possibility and who knows, let’s see what happens. It could be a good thing.”
Besides Vettel, the other big-name driver out of contract for 2018 is McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard also entering the final year of his deal.
Rosberg previously said that Alonso was never a consideration for his seat for 2017 due to the “fireworks” it would cause with Lewis Hamilton, but thinks he should be kept in mind for next year.
“Of course, Alonso, they need to keep him in mind even though he’s not the youngest out there anymore,” Alonso said.
“He’s still driving at his best, I think, it looks like from what we have seen, so he should be considered as well and I’m sure he will.”