Nico Rosberg wanted Fernando Alonso as his Mercedes replacement

Nico Rosberg says he would have liked Fernando Alonso to replace him as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate.

The German retired last November, five days after winning the title, and Mercedes have chosen former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas to replace him.

Asked by Spain’s Marca who he would have preferred, Rosberg said: “Everyone says Alonso and I say it too because there would be fireworks with Hamilton.

“As a fan, it would be nice, but for the team it wouldn’t work.”

Rosberg, who has become a Mercedes ambassador after hanging up his helmet, said: “They’ve found a great solution. Bottas is fast and though Hamilton will be at a very, very high level and it will be difficult to beat him, I have proved that he can.”

This will be the first season F1 has not had the reigning champion competing on track since 1994, when Alain Prost retired after winning the title with Williams.

Rosberg said he was “happier” now he no longer has to battle against Hamilton and he said he would continue to attend some races this year.

He said: “It’s true, it’s a little weird. It is not the first time it’s happened, but without the two yeah, well… I’m going to be at some races. I want to go and be close to the sport, I love it and I’ll be a fan from now on.”

He dismissed suggestions Mercedes might have been angry with him for announcing his decision so late and forcing them to have to persuade another team to release a contracted driver.

“Angry?” he said. “No, they have a lot of respect for me and I appreciate it.

However he admitted his relationship with non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who has been critical of his decision in the media, was ” more complicated”.

“Though he seems angry in the press, with me he isn’t,” Rosberg said. “He told me in person that he took off his hat to me. He’s been very supportive after three very good years working together.”

source: BBC Sport