German Pascal Wehrlein has been confirmed as a Grand Prix driver for 2016, the 21-year-old joining the Manor team as it embarks on its first season with Mercedes power.
Mercedes-contracted Wehrlein, who in 2015 became the youngest DTM champion, will make his race debut for the British outfit in Australia on March 20, while also retaining his reserve-driver role with Mercedes’ world title-winning factory outfit. His signing paves the way for the back-of-the-grid team to take advantage of time in Mercedes’ windtunnel in Brackley.
Wehrlein will be the 44th German to race in a World Championship GP since 1950 and aims to one day join countrymen Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Jochen Mass, Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, Wolfgang von Trips and Sebastian Vettel on the winners’ podium.
Visitors to the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed visitors will recall witnessing young Wehrlein sampling a 2013 Mercedes W04 on the hill and we hope he’ll be back in 2016 as a fully-fledged F1 driver, probably not by then a winner but perhaps as the 21st points-scoring German in F1 history.
Who is Pascal Wehrlein?
Born: 18 October 1994
2010: ADAC Formula Masters – 6th (1 win)
2011: ADAC Formula Masters – Champion (8 wins)
2012: F3 Euroseries – 2nd (1 win)
FIA F3 European Championship – 4th (1 win)
2013: FIA F3 European Championship – 14th (1 win)
DTM – 22nd (1 fastest lap)
2014: DTM – 8th (1 win)
F1 tests with Mercedes
2015: DTM – Champion (2 wins)
F1 tests with Mercedes and Force India
2016: Race driver with Manor F1
Images courtesy of Daimler AG