With these words Nico Rosberg threw the world of Formula One into chaos. After days of speculation that, in fact, his teammate Lewis Hamilton could be out on his ear after disobeying team orders repeatedly the revelation that the current F1 world champion was leaving the sport caused the fans and press to immediately being searching for his replacement. Mercedes have dominated the sport for the last 3 seasons, sweeping driver and constructors titles with ease. Their only fumbles seemed to come from within, a rigid hierarchy and suitably Germanic obedience to the dogma of “Team First” putting them at odds with their drivers and a seemingly bullet proof car in testing becoming less reliable as the season went on.
Now with probably the most sought after seat in F1 up for grabs Mercedes are left pondering whether the experiment of two top tier drivers has really worked out for them. After all Lewis and Nico were old friends, climbing the ladder of success from karting to formula one. If 18 years of friendship could be turned sour in a matter of races then what is the likelihood of two strangers being able to form a cohesive bond and still push equally for the drivers title AND deliver Mercedes more constructor glory?
Many names have been thrown around for the vacancy but lets look at them and work out how likely each switch could be..