Mercedes DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein has been officially named as reserve driver for the company’s F1 team.
The 19-year-old German has already conducted 12,000kms of simulator running, and was given his first F1 test with an evaluation programme in a 2012 W03 at Portimao last week. He completed 109 laps, or over 500kms.
Wehrlein, who scored his first DTM win at Lausitzring yesterday, finished second to Daniel Juncadella in the 2012 F3 Euro Series.
Regarding his test he said: “It took me a few laps to get used to the incredible speed, the very hard brakes and the high cornering speeds – it’s in another league compared to the DTM. But I adapted quickly and was able to improve in each of my short and long runs. In total, I drove 500 km and didn’t want to head back into the pits! The test was simply the greatest experience I have had so far in motorsport. There weren’t any nerves, which surprised me, I just felt ready for it. The feedback from the team and from Toto was very encouraging and I think that I did a good job.
“For me, it’s a dream come true to have completed this test and now to take on my new role. All my life, I have worked hard to get the opportunity to drive an F1 car. And it was always my goal to do it with Mercedes-Benz.”
Toto Wolff said: “He has worked hard behind the scenes this year in our simulator, playing a very important role in our pre-race preparations. Aside from Nico and Lewis, he is the driver most familiar with all the procedures of our F1 W05 Hybrid and therefore the right choice for the role of reserve driver.
“He took an important step last week when he drove a Formula One car for the first time – and we were pleased to see him deliver a composed and impressive test, in line with our expectations. This was followed by a fantastic win yesterday at the Lausitzring in the DTM, making the most of conditions where pure driving talent was able to shine. Pascal has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him on board for what will be an intense conclusion to the Formula One season.”