Nico Rosberg took used Alain Prost´s idea and stopped at the peak of his career. Rosberg is the first reigning World Champion to retire since Prost did in ´93.
Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen, Wehrlein and Ocon seem to have a reasonable possibility of getting this most wanted seat in the motorsport world. There may be some others who fancy there chances... Maybe Valtteri Bottas will get a go, only time will tell.
Whoever gets the chance will have to proof they are worth it. They will have to face Lewis Hamilton and even out-qualify him from time to time. And also win races. Speaking of Hamilton, he will in my mind definitely have a say in who is new teammate will be, unless it will be a former world champion I think. If Alonso is phoning Toto Wolff Hamilton will not be asked. The team are not very interested in Hamilton´s opinion after the slow driving in Abu Dhabi. Therefore I feel Hamilton may get a teammate he will not be particularly happy with.
Hamilton only seems happy when he is winning (I know all racing drivers are). But Hamilton also seems to me, complaining and whiney when he is not winning (that´s getting old in my opinion). He should suck it up and stop complaining so much and talk in such mysterious ways. For example when he was implying there was a strange reason for Mercedes switching mechanics before the season this year. Well if there is just SAY IT!
I mentioned Valtteri Bottas might get a chance.. I feel this is the most likely result. Ocon will go to Force India, as planned and Wehrlein will take a seat vacated at Williams. This will leave Williams with a very unexperienced team for next year but hey, that´s what Williams does, they raise future Champions (Rosberg, Button and so on). It would be exciting to see Alonso/Vettel take the seat left open by Rosberg but somhow I feel that is not very likely.
Let me know what you think in comments below or write a article in the Tribe and lets get a good discussion going.