Lauda claims Rosberg two-year deal "pretty much agreed"
Mercedes chief Niki Lauda has given the firmest indication yet that Nico Rosberg will remain at Mercedes for the near future, claiming that a two-year deal is now all but sorted.
Rosberg has been in negotiations with Mercedes for several months about a new contract, with his current one running out at the end of this season.
Those discussions ramped up recently after Rosberg decided to appoint Gerhard Berger to help guide his talks, as the German did not want to get distracted from his efforts of winning the world championship.
And although few expected Rosberg and Mercedes not to come to some form of agreement, there remained many small issues that prevented the contract getting finally signed off.
However, speaking to German newspaper Bild after meeting Rosberg at the weekend, non-executive chairman Lauda said that it was now pretty clear that the current driver pairing would continue.
“We have pretty much agreed on a new two-year contract but still have to work on the details,” said Lauda.
When asked if the new contract was a present to Rosberg, who celebrates his 31st birthday on Monday, Lauda said: “No. He has worked hard to earn it [the contract]."
Rosberg’s new deal will mean the focus for the driver market will now shift to Ferrari and what it decides to do with Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn has had some mixed fortunes this year – having delivered podium finishes but also enduring some disappointment after making mistakes.
Ferrari wants to wait some more time before deciding what to do, and there are no shortage of candidates should it decide to replace the former world champion.
Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean have all been linked with the seat in recent weeks.
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