Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has insisted that his team must consult him on who would replace recently-retired world champion Nico Rosberg next season before also warning them against signing big names like Fernando Alonso.
While Mercedes considered Williams' driver Valtteri Bottas as their preferred choice to replace Rosberg, the team's head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, said that Hamilton's former McLaren team-mate Alonso would be an appropriate choice.
"Basically, once they've dwindled it down to five drivers, or whatever it is, the shortlist, contractually they have to discuss with me," the Guardian quoted Hamilton as saying.
Referring to Alonso and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton said he is not worried of driving against any of them, but insisted that they would probably not be the best choices for the team.
"They can put any driver they want -- bring Sebastian [Vettel], Fernando [Alonso], bring whoever you really want. I drove against Fernando in my first year [at McLaren in 2007] and beat him, so that's not a worry for me. I am happy to drive against any of them. But in terms of what is best for the team, probably not the best ideas," he added.
Mercedes have been seeking a replacement for Rosberg since the German shocked the sporting world by announcing a sudden retirement from Formula One, barely a week after winning his maiden world championship title.
Mercedes would not name Rosberg's replacement until at least January 3.