Rosberg and Vettel 'not in the running' for Mercedes seat

Nico Rosberg (GER) Sky Sports Presenter on the Mercedes AMG F1 pit gantry. 23.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
© XPB 

Former f1 world champions Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel seem to have been firmly ruled out of contention for any form of sensational return to the sport with Mercedes as potential replacements for the departing Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg was Hamilton's team mate when he won the 2016 title with the squad, promptly retiring from competitive racing just nine days later, while four-time champion Vettel ended his F1 career after the 2022 season.

While Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has yet to indicate who will take over Hamilton's seat in 2025, Rosberg has said it definitely wouldn't be him.

"That's over, I'm not planning a comeback," Rosberg told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung this week, adding that he'd been out of the cockpit for far too long to be effective in today's cars.

“A racing driver has to react super-fast at top speed and be precise," he said. "I've lost that after the long break. The muscles are also put under so much strain, just to hold the steering wheel with all the centrifugal forces.”

“I couldn't just do that," he continued. "I would have to prepare intensively for a whole year, if only to train the synapses in my brain," he said, adding that “I have great respect for the danger!"

Since retiring, Rosberg has been working in F1 as a media analyst for Sky Sports and other broadcasters, as well as forging a career as a financial investor and concentrating on being present for his family.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid in parc ferme with team mate Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid. 14.05.2016. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Qualifying

Vettel has also been staying close to home in the year since he departed F1, but still shows interest in competitive racing. He was linked to a possible seat in this year's FIA World Endurance Championship until plans fell through.

While Vettel himself hasn't commented on rumours that he could be on Mercedes' list of potential replacements, Wolff all-but ruled him out in recent comments to the media at the team's 2024 launch this week.

"He made the decision to not race anymore," Wolff told Auto Motor Und Sport. "We are talking on a regular basis. We've also talked yesterday, but it wasn't about driving for us in the future."

Another former world champion firmly in the mix for the seat is Fernando Alonso, but he insists that his focus is on delivering for his current team Aston Martin.


"I'm sure there is interest in general to know where I stand for the future," he said, adding that he'd received no direct approaches from anyone and that any offers would go first to his manager Flavio Briatore and others.

“The ones who have shown me the most interest - and the ones who ask me weekly - are Aston Martin, so we'll see," he commented.

Last week Briatore was snapped having a coffee meeting with Wolff at Cova in Monaco, owned, by Briatore, which set social media ablaze, but such meetings are far from unusual.

Wolff himself has spoken of the opportunity to be "bold" in driver selection, which points to young talent like Andrea Kimi Antonelli than it does to past champions.

Antonelli's development in Formula 2 this season will certainly be on Wolff's watch-list, but if Wolff decided to go in that direction then the announcement would not come until late in the year.

Also in the running to sign up as George Russell's team mate next year are official Mercedes reserve and development drivers Mick Schumacher and Fred Vesti.

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter