Mercedes are thinking about signing McLaren driver Fernando Alonso to replace Nico Rosberg, team boss Toto Wolff says.
Rosberg, 31, retired five days after winning the Formula 1 world title.
“You have to consider Fernando,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “He is a driver I respect a lot. He combines talent, speed and experience. It’s all there.”
A move would reunite 35-year-old Alonso with Lewis Hamilton, whom he partnered at McLaren for one season in 2007.
But the pair had a stormy relationship, leading to the Spaniard leaving the team after agreeing an early release from his contract.
Two-time champion Alonso is entering the final year of his contract, which may force Mercedes to look elsewhere.
With testing due to begin in February, the constructors’ champions will have to move quickly to find a replacement.
Former Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein, 22, remains the most realistic target to join British three-time champion Hamilton, who recently said he “doesn’t care” who Mercedes pick.
Wolff added: “He [Alonso] is in a contract with McLaren-Honda at the moment and we just need to weigh all the other options up.
“Both drivers will have equal status and equal opportunity to the best of our abilities. We owe it to the fans. You can’t have a pecking order.”