No Alonso alarm for McLaren as Mercedes seek Rosberg replacement


McLaren are confident Fernando Alonso will not be poached by Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg.

The German has stunned the motorsport world by retiring five days after capturing the 2016 world championship ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso, 35, is a two-time Formula One title winner who re-joined McLaren on a three-year deal in 2015. 

A former team-mate of Hamilton, the Spaniard would not be overawed by the challenge of filling the void left by Rosberg at the Silver Arrows. 

However, McLaren are adamant their prized asset will not be lured away by the sport's dominant force.

"We have a contract with Fernando and he is very happy," McLaren executive director Zak Brown told Sky Sports. 

"Obviously he wants to be winning races, as do we, but I am not worried about that scenario.

"We are very comfortable where we are at."

Should Mercedes opt for the promise of youth rather than experience, Pascal Wehrlein, a former Silver Arrows test and reserve driver, has been touted as a possible option.

"One season in F1 is not a lot, but I feel ready for the job, confident enough," the 22-year-old Manor driver said at the Autosport Awards.

"Now the decision is on the bosses, Toto [Wolff]'s phone must have been overheating since Friday, many drivers have called him, but I respect that process and I want to go for the best option," he added, referring to Mercedes' motorsport chief.

Asked to state his credentials for the coveted role, Wehrlein cited his experience of testing out Pirelli's latest equipment: "I think I did most days with the 2017 tyres, and it's very important to have that experience."