Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg says he wanted Fernando Alonso to replace him as Lewis Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes, but admits the move would have caused "fireworks".
Rosberg beat Hamilton to the 2016 drivers' world championship at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, before sensationally announcing his immediate retirement from the sport just five days later. Rosberg's decision caused a late shake-up in the drivers' market, with Mercedes eventually opting to replace him with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
McLaren's Alonso had been linked with the drive but remained tied to his contract at the British outfit which runs until the end of the 2017 season. The Spaniard later ruled himself out of a switch to Mercedes, having underlined his commitment to McLaren.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Rosberg said that as a fan, Alonso would have been his preferred choice for the three-time constructors' champions, but acknowledged it would not have been a realistic outcome.
"OK, because I'm now a fan, and on that side of the fence, it's very easy to respond," the German said. "Everyone says Alonso and I say it too, because there would have been fireworks with Hamilton. As a fan, it would be nice, but for the team it wouldn't have worked."
Two-time world champion Alonso previously partnered Hamilton at McLaren in 2007. The pair developed a fierce rivalry and ultimately fell out, leading to Alonso quitting the team after a single season to return to Renault for the following campaign.
When asked if there had been any chance of Alonso making the move, Rosberg replied: "No, nothing. I can't imagine it, not for Mercedes, no."
Speaking of his replacement Bottas, Rosberg added: "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. I have him [Bottas] on pole in the first race in Australia!"