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Wehrlein remains part of Mercedes

NEWS STORY
09/01/2018

Despite his limited options, Toto Wolff assures Pascal Wehrlein that he remains part of the Mercedes family.

Though at one stage, albeit tenuously, linked with the second Williams seat, Pascal Wehrlein looks set to be without an F1 drive in 2018.

Having missed the opening races after injuring himself in a crash during the Race of Champions, the German youngster made the best of a bad package to score Sauber's only points of the season.

However, with the Swiss outfit enjoying closer ties with Ferrari, and then Alfa Romeo, that particular avenue was closed down to the German, leaving the Williams seat alongside Lance Stroll as the only other option.

Despite being left on the sidelines however, Toto Wolff insists the youngster remains part of the Mercedes family.

"Pascal definitely deserves a place in Formula 1 and is certainly one of the fastest drivers," he told Motorsport.com. "At the moment it looks a little bit bitter as far as the available driver seats are concerned.

"He's definitely going to be on our team," he added. "Whether or not he actively participates in a racing series other than Formula 1. He will definitely remain part of our squad."

Having won the 2015 DTM series it is unlikely that Wehrlein will want to return, and looking further ahead to 2019, Esteban Ocon looks the most likely choice to replace Valtteri Bottas should Mercedes opt not to retain the Finn. Then again, Wolff has made no secret of his desire to see Daniel Ricciardo in the second Silver Arrow.

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