According to reports online, at least one driver has been removed from the possible Mercedes line up with the unconfirmed news that formner manor racer, and Mercedes young driver, Pascal Wehrlein, has been signed up by the Sauberf1 team to race alongside Marcus Ericsson in 2017.

The deal between the two was on the cards before Nico Rosberg handed in his shock retirement to Mercedes and while the possibility of Wehrlein racing alongside Lewis Hamilton this year was thrown around for a few weeks, Mercedes team bosses soon clarified that in their opinion he was too inexperienced for the high profile role.

Some insiders thought that Pascal would be a good fit, similar to Max Verstappen being promoted to the top ride in Red Bull Racing last year, however it now seems fairly certain that Mercedes have opted for Valtteri Bottas.

To strengthen the Bottas rumours even further, the Finn was seen at the Mercedes factory just before Christmas…

Confirmation of both signings is expected in the coming days.