2017 Looms on the Horizon for Mercedes

With time slowly ticking away for 2016, all eyes are turned on Mercedes in eager anticipation of who will be deemed Hamilton’s newest teammate.

It seems that the drama Mercedes has found itself in finally has an end in sight: Mercedes AMG Petronas has officially confirmed that it will announce its replacement for Nico Rosberg in early 2017.
If anything, we’ll be able to finally put this chapter of Mercedes behind us and move on to what 2017 has in store. The question is: what the hell is it exactly? Let’s head down the road that Valtteri Bottas gets tapped. Great, but we won’t know what the implications of such a pick are like at least until midway through the season.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 27: Valtteria Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at Hungaroring on July 27, 2014 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys Photography via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 27: Valtteria Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at Hungaroring on July 27, 2014 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Vladimir Rys Photography via Getty Images)

Also, it feels we’re not talking about the elephant in the room: What exactly made Rosberg up and quit? Yeah, yeah, we know that he achieved his goals and all that – but are we to believe that there were no words of warning to his fellow team members?
If that’s the case, it stands to postulate that perhaps relations between drivers and the management division of the team could have been somewhat strained. We’ve already seen Hamilton’s “I suggest you let us race” quip from the Abu Dhabi finale, and believing that Rosberg was feeling the same kind of tension isn’t too grandiose for us to assume.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24:  World Championship contenders Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP pose for a photo before conducting a press conference during previews for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: World Championship contenders Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP pose for a photo before conducting a press conference during previews for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

It’s curious to think: just how lucrative of a position is it to other racers to put their bid in for a Mercedes slot? Bottas has been confirmed to have denied Mercedes’ first proposal, and is subsequently in negotiations. While it is a clearer step toward a resolution, the discussion surrounding it has offered no clear insights into the inner dealings of the team. I know that might be a controversial topic for some, but transparency really is the best policy.