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Pascal Wehrlein




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Pascal Wehrlein


Sigmaringen, Germany
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 will be interesting, not least because the Mercedes protege will be using Ferrari power. However, with neither he nor Ericsson having impressed in 2016, both could spend 2017 fighting for their F1 futures.

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