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Pascal Wehrlein




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Pascal Wehrlein


Sigmaringen, Germany

Official website:


Starting off in Karts aged 9, Pascal only raced in his native Germany for the majority of his career, working his way up through the ranks to progress to the KF2 category by 2009, when he finished fifth in the ADAC Kart Masters.

2010 saw him make the switch to single-seaters, contesting the ADAC Formel Masters championship with Mucke Motorsport. Finishing sixth in the championship, with a win at Sachsenring and another three podiums, Pascal remained in series with the team for 2011. With wins at Oschersleben, Sachsenring, Zolder, Nurburgring and Lausitz, Pascal took the championship, edging out Britain's Emil Bernstorff by 21 points.

Moving up to Formula 3 in 2012, in his maiden season he secured second place to Daniel Juncadella in the Euro Series championship and claimed the title of best rookie. In addition he finished fourth in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, fourth at Macau and fifth in the Masters of Formula 3.

For 2013, DTM with Mercedes-Benz beckoned and Pascal became the youngest driver in the series' history. Sadly, it was a largely disappointing season, his best result being tenth at Brands Hatch, with similar results at the Red Bull Ring and the Nurburgring.

Remaining in DTM in 2014 at the Lausitzring he took a commanding debut victory from pole position, leading every lap but one in wet-dry conditions on his way to becoming the youngest race winner in DTM history at just 19 years of age.

The day after his historic Lausitzring win, Pascal was named reserve driver for the all-conquering Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, which, in addition to his DTM duties, saw him playing an integral role in the F1 team's race support operations.

In total, he completed more than 30 days in the simulator, covering over 12,000 km in the virtual F1 W05 Hybrid.

Pascal reached another important milestone in his career development on Thursday 11 September, when he drove an F1 car for the first time at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portimao.

As part of a Young Driver Evaluation test conducted by the team, Pascal took the wheel of the team's 2012 challenger, the F1 W03. Running a programme designed to familiarise him with the car, he completed 109 laps and impressed with his progress and feedback.

From the Singapore Grand Prix, Pascal travelled with the F1 team as part of his reserve driver duties however, with the championship battle well and truly underway he never got to take part in a Grand Prix practice session. However, on 26 November, the final day of the post-season, he finally got to drive the (championship winning) 2014 car, topping the timesheets by over 0.5s.

In December, having finished 8th overall in the DTM, Pascal finished runner-up (to David Coulthard) in the Race of Champions.

Retained by Mercedes for 2015, and even making a (test) appearances with Force India, Pascal also continued in DTM with the Stuttgart company.

On the morning of the first Barcelona test, Pascal completed 32 laps in the Force India, posting a best time of 1:28.329. In the afternoon, now in the Mercedes, his best time, after 48 laps, was a 1:28.489, albeit on the harder tyre. Next day, back in the Force India, the youngster completed 81 laps on his way to posting the eighth best time of the day (27.333).

Back in the Mercedes for the post-Spanish GP test, Pascal posted the second best time of the day (26.497), whilst at the subsequent test in Austria he was the pace-setter, completing on Day 1 with Mercedes (11.005) and fifth quickest (for Force India) on Day 2 (10.253).

Concluding his year's F1 work for Mercedes at Yas Marina, the German was sixth quickest (45.605).

Other than his work for the Silver Arrows in the simulator, there was the little matter of DTM, Pascal clinching the drivers' title at the third attempt, despite winning only two races.

Over the winter he was linked with a drive with Manor - the British team switching from Ferrari to Mercedes power for 2016 - however, the rumours appeared to fizzle out in the new year. Then, in the second week of February, the rumours began again and on February 10, Pascal was confirmed as part of the Banbury squad having signed a one-year deal.

On the whole, and this is Pitpass' own opinion, Pascal proved a major disappointment in 2016.

Granted, he made it through to Q2 on a number of occasions and scored that valuable point in Austria, but he failed to leave Rio Haryanto in the shade, and only appeared to raise his game with the arrival of Esteban Ocon.

The Manor was fast but lack of grip meant it was poor in the corners, but this applied to Haryanto and Ocon as much as Pascal.

The first time he really grabbed the attention and hinted at what Mercedes has clearly seen in him was Monaco when he was among the very first to switch from full wets to slicks. A similar gamble back-fired at Silverstone which meant he was naturally cautious in Brazil where a stronger performance might not only have put Ocon in his place but scored another precious point or two for his team.

The arrival of Ocon was interesting because not only did Pascal find himself being weighed against a 'serious' benchmark, he was up against another much-fancied Mercedes protege. At times the German seemed irked by the Frenchman, never more so than when they collided at the season finale.

At season end, it was Ocon who got the drive at Force India replacing Nico Hulkenberg, the Silverstone-based outfit clearly snubbing the German.

Though Pascal claims he learned from the team's decision, which he merely put down to not gelling with the crew, he chose not to share the precise reason with the rest of us.

Of course, it might have been the incident in Austin when he repeatedly ignored the order to switch off his engine after spinning off in final practice. Stranded in the gravel, race engineer Josh Peckett told the German five times to "switch the car off now" before the youngster finally complied. Such (expensive) naughtiness does not go down well on the pit-wall.

Despite losing out on the Force India seat, Pascal looked as though he might be the beneficiary when Nico Rosberg announced his retirement. However, with Mercedes procrastinating it was clear that the German manufacturer also felt that the youngster wasn't ready for such a move.

On January 16, following weeks of speculation, Pascal was confirmed as Marcus Ericsson's teammate at Sauber, under the circumstance the only opening available to him what with Manor having called in the Administrators.

The move to Sauber would be interesting, not least because the Mercedes protege would be using Ferrari power, albeit a year old. However, with neither he nor Ericsson having impressed in 2016, both could were likely to spend 2017 fighting for their F1 futures.

At season end, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted frustration at not being able to land a 2018 seat for Pascal. The obvious question in response is why didn't Wolff himself show the youngster a little faith?

As for the German, while there is no doubt he has talent and pace and the 2017 Sauber simply didn't allow him the opportunity to demonstrate either, the fact is that he never convincingly buried his so-so teammate.

With most of the opinion that Ericsson is (still) there because of his connection to the teams owners, Pascal had the chance to demolish the young Swede but he regularly failed to do so.

Missing much of pre-season testing and the opening two races following his crash in the Race of Champions, Pascal came into the season on the back foot. Worst still, the car and its year-old engine were the stuff of nightmares.

However, on his season debut in Bahrain he left Ericsson for dust in qualifying putting the Sauber a mighty 13th on the grid and finishing the race, all things considered, a highly impressive 11th.

Impressive driving and canny strategy saw him finish 8th in Spain and as a result for much of the first half of the season McLaren was demoted to last in the standings.

However, strategy was to work against him in the final stages of the season, while it was noted that it was teammate Ericsson who had the clear edge when it came to starts.

With Sauber effectively becoming a Ferrari B-team in 2018, courtesy of the latest-spec engine and a title partnership with Alfa Romeo, it was inevitable that Mercedes protege Pascal would find himself surplus to requirements. However, he has talent and one wonders why Mercedes couldn't have done more for him.

On 2 February, it was confirmed that Pascal, along with Paul di Resta, both having had the F1 door slammed firmly in their faces, would return to DTM with Mercedes for the German manufacturer's swan-song.

A few weeks later, when Mercedes unveiled its 2018 F1 contender, the German team revealed that Pascal would share reserve driver duties with George Russell.

In September 2018, aware that his association with Mercedes was limiting his options, particularly in F1, the German manufacturer announced it was "parting ways" with the youngster. Shortly after, Pascal revealed that he was heading to Formula E, with Mahindra Racing.

On February 4, 2019, Ferrari announced that Pascal would be one of four drivers recruited to its simulator programme as the Italian outfit sought to close the gap to Mercedes.

The youngster, who had finished 12th in the 2018/2019 Formula E series, scoring a podium finish in Santiago, remained with Mahindra Racing for the 2019/2020 season.

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