Right now Mercedes has three junior drivers under its wings. Esteban Ocon who is driving for Force India and thriving. The other is George Russel who just won GP3 and would move on to F2. The third driver and a matter of concern is Pascal Wehrlein.
The young German-Mauritian excelled in junior categories under the tutelage of Mercedes & is surely a name to follow.
When the team couldn’t find a place for him in categories higher up the order, he was moved onto DTM at a mere age of 18. The boy, however, won a race the very next year and the championship a year after that. Amidst all this, his focus had remained on getting into F1.
Dutifully completing testing duties for both Mercedes and Force India, he continued to rake up experience. In late February 2016 he made it into F1 with the Mercedes powered Manor. He shone on multiple occasions taking the back-marker Manor to places it shouldn’t be on Saturdays. And when he finally scored points in Austria, he was widely tipped as Mercedes’s next star and F1’s budding talent.
All his good name eroded when rumors made their way that the youngster carries an attitude inside the pitlane. Ocon’s arrival and with Force India choosing the relatively unknown Frenchman over the German tattered his reputation.
Check some of the points, Mercedes can do with the rising star, Pascal Wehrlein.
- Persuade Sauber to retain Pascal Wehrlein
When newly appointed team principal Mr. Fredric Vasseur announced that Sauber would forge an even closer tie with Ferrari, the writing became apparent on the wall for Pascal Wehrlein. The guy in the other car i.e Ericsson effectively owns the team and hence in any scenario it was always Pascal who was going to get the boot. But things changed when Mr. Marchione expressed his desire to turn Sauber into effectively a Ferrari B-Team. He has been pushing for both Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi to be placed into the car for next year.
Leclerc’s arrival in Sauber next year is all but certain. The shootout is between Antonio Giovinazzi, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson. While Giovinazzi has Ferrari’s backing and a good Australia result to show for, his crash friendly track record in various FP1 outings speaks against him. Ericsson has linkages with Longbow Finance but his career so far has nothing to show for.
So it’s Mercedes task now to convince Sauber to race their protege next year too. An injection of some cash to sweeten the deal may just do it.
- Convince Williams to race Wehrlein
Williams is currently on the hunt to fill the second seat alongside Lance Stroll. The shootout is between Di Resta, kubica & Massa himself. Wehrlein was an outside contender but sponsor Martini’s “at least one 25-year-old driver” requirement has thrown away his hopes. But recently there are rumours going on that there is a way. The reserve driver can fulfil the sponsorship requirement as well. Pascal Wehrlein will be 23 this year and hence fulfils the legal age in all countries on the calendar to consume alcohol. Therefore it won’t be a roadblock in Martini’s advertisements.
So Mercedes can persuade Williams to convince Martini to relax the requirement. In return, Mercedes can offer a discount on the engines. Williams will get a capable and talented driver who has shown he can score points and has a very good experience of 2017 cars and tires.