By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Mercedes posted a tongue-in-cheek job advertisement on Thursday as they seek a replacement for newly-retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg.
The notice, similar in format to the usual automotive vacancies, was published in Britain's Autosport magazine under 'drive available' for the amusement of readers rather than any serious intent.
"As part of the traveling team, you will be responsible for the operation of an F1 car at track events including demos, tests and grand prix," it said.
"Ideally, you will have a proven track record in skills including steering, braking and in particular, accelerating. Possession of an FIA Super Licence will be an advantage."
The perks included subsidized restaurant facilities, life assurance, private medical cover, on-site gym and a company car lease scheme.
Other required skills, apart from being "self-motivated with a strong desire for success", included showing 'extreme patience in the face of media attention' and being able to identify clearly the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.
Rosberg announced his retirement last Friday and dominant Mercedes have no need to advertise the hottest vacancy in Formula One, with anyone remotely qualified banging on their door.
The team's 22-year-old German reserve Pascal Wehrlein, who raced for Manor this year, is the bookmakers' favorite to partner triple world champion Lewis Hamilton next season.
William Hill cut his odds from 9/4 to 4/7 on Wednesday with Williams' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas the 5/2 second favorite.
"While it would be a big step up for him (Wehrlein), he seems to be the man the punters are predicting to replace the world champion," said Hill's spokesman Joe Crilly.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports television he was ready to make a 'brave choice' - echoing the words he used about Rosberg when the German announced his decision.
"We need the quickest guy who makes the least mistakes and understands that this is a team game," said the Austrian, who is involved with Bottas's management team.
"Besides the personal relationship (with Bottas) ... he's also somebody who is very, very fast," said Wolff.
"But he's with Williams now, the lead driver, and is very important for the combination with (newly-signed Canadian rookie) Lance Stroll. Claire (Williams) and her team very much rely on him."
Mercedes have also expressed an interest in double world champion Fernando Alonso but the Spaniard is under contract to McLaren, who do not want to let him go.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Janet Lawrence)