Mercedes F1 Executive Director Toto Wolff believes the retired reigning World Champion could one day return to the sport he competed in for 11 years.
Rosberg shocked the motorsport world last December when, just days after achieving his lifelong ambition of clinching the world title, he announced his retirement to spend more time with his young family.
The German hasn’t strayed too far from the fast lane in his retirement, however. He has attended a number of Grands Prix this year and continues to work with Mercedes in an ambassadorial role.
Speaking to media in the paddock at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix the Mercedes AMG team leader admitted he would not be surprised if Rosberg staged a comeback.
“I think when he took the decision to retire it was because it was just too much,” Wolff said.
“It was a very stressful year against probably the best driver in F1 [Lewis Hamilton] and he felt, at that stage, exhausted. That is how he appeared to me.
“But he is 31 years old. If he is unlucky, he has another 70 years to go in his life!
“I will give you one [quote]: I wouldn’t be surprised if he changes his mind in a year and reappears in a Ferrari! Or somewhere else.”
The Silver Arrows had to scramble to find a replacement for the champion, with all the top drivers locked into contracts. They eventually announced, through an engine discount deal with Williams, that Valtteri Bottas would partner Lewis Hamilton.
But the Finn reportedly only signed to a one-year deal, meaning the much coveted seat with the German marque may potentially be up for grabs in 2018. And with Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen also out of contract, Wollf’s comments have started the F1 silly season early this year.
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas Team