Nico Rosberg has signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes as part of a deal that will keep him with the German manufacturer until 2016.
Rosberg joined from Williams in 2010 and was set to see his deal expire at the end of the 2014 season, but BBC (h/t ESPN) announced news of the extension, with Rosberg now set to continue rivaling teammate Lewis Hamilton for at least another two terms.
ESPN also details comments made by Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche earlier in the week, during which he spoke of Mercedes' "long-term relationships" with both its drivers.
Mike Wise of Sky Sports adds an intriguing aspect to the story, claiming that the deal may even have been signed in preseason, adding some confusion to the recent speculation that Mercedes was looking to sign Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, per the ESPN report.
The Spaniard has done his best to put Ferrari into contention for the top finishing places this season, but Mercedes' prolific pair are running away with the championship race, with Hamilton and Rosberg in first and second, respectively.
|Nico Rosberg Mercedes Record|
|2014 (after 5 races)||97||2nd||1||5|
There sit 48 points between Rosberg and third-place Alonso, but that hasn't reduced the latter's reputation as being a driver of immense talent and skill.
Ahead of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, Rosberg wrote in a Daily Mail column of his desire to claw down the three-point lead that Hamilton currently holds over him:
Of course it is important to stop Lewis because, at this moment in time, he has the result momentum and I need to try and break that this weekend. The Monaco Grand Prix is very different to any other race. It is just that little bit more intense, and more spectacular with the track, the atmosphere - it is right in the city - and the fact that it is just amazing to drive.
Monaco is my home town, too, and I have great memories of winning there last year, so I am looking forward to racing there again. It is just the ultimate driving challenge.
As is often the case in successful F1 teams, the thirst for individual success can be as strong as, if not stronger than, any desire to see the team succeed first and foremost. Rosberg is no different in that sense.
For now, any rumours linking Alonso with what was a potential void in the Mercedes team would now look to be firmly dismissed.
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