Nico Rosberg wanted Fernando Alonso to partner Lewis Hamilton

2016 champion's decision to retire left a vacancy at Mercedes

BY Raf Diallo 17:23 Monday 6 February 2017, 17:23 6 Feb 2017

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain is flanked by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany during a news conference at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy , Thursday, Sept. 4 , 2014. Picture by Luca Bruno AP/Press Association Images

Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg says he wanted Fernando Alonso to replace him as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate at Mercedes.

The German retired in November, just five days after taking his maiden title.

His old team have since signed Valtteri Bottas from Williams.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Rosberg says he would've loved the "fireworks" between Alonso and Hamilton, but realistically "it wouldn't work."

"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," he said.

Rosberg had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with childhood friend and team-mate Hamilton as they battled for race wins and world championships - Hamilton coming out on top in 2014 and 2015.

It was a similar case between Hamilton and Alonso when the two were at McLaren together in 2007.

Hamilton made his debut that season and immediately made an impact in Formula 1, challenging his more experienced double world champion team-mate Alonso.

However, the rivalry soon got out of hand and at the end of the 2007 season when both he and the Englishman were pipped to the title by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, the Spanish driver departed the McLaren team.

Rosberg praised Mercedes decision to choose Bottas as Hamilton's team-mate for 2017 and beyond, although he feels the Finn faces a tough task to get the better of the three time champion.

"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," he said.

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