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Formula One: Who is Pascal Wehrlein?

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Pascal Wehrlein was announced today to be driving for Manor F1 in the forthcoming Formula One season. Here at The Sports Lowdown, Formula One writer Cassie Nunn-Price looks at the young German and see how he got to the racing circus.

Formula One fans will know the name Pascal Wehrlein. The 21 year-old was named Mercedes test driver at the back of the 2014 season just before his 19th birthday.

However, many other motorsports fans will know the German not just from his F1 pursuits. Notably, Wehrlein has been competing in DTM for the past three seasons.

Pascal’s DTM career has been one of success, with him claiming the drivers championship at the end of 2015. Wehrlein clinched the title with 169 points, ahead of Brit, Jamie Green, who finished with 150 points.

It is quite uncommon to see drivers travel up to Formula One from DTM. Usually, drivers do this journey the other way round, like drivers such as Ralf Schumacher and Mikka Hakkinen. More recently, Vitaly Petrov and Timo Glock have gone to racing touring cars after a spell in F1. However, Pascal Wehrlein is the first one to do so.

In recent years the only driver to reach Formula One through DTM is 2010 DTM Champion, Paul Di Resta, who raced with Force India from 2011 to 2013, before returning to DTM in 2014.

The Mercedes test driver has been on the F1 scene for the last year, having his first stint in an F1 car during pre-season testing in Barcelona for Force India in 2015. During that testing week the young German also got a shot to test the upcoming championship winning Mercedes F1 car.

With Manor choosing to hire Pascal Wehrlein for the 2016 season will strengthen the link between Manor and Mercedes. The team will have use of Mercedes’ 50 per cent wind tunnel based in Brackley as part of the deal to give Wehrlein the seat.

Wehrlein’s move to Manor is completely unrelated to the fact that they will run with this year’s Mercedes engine.


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