By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Sauber has announced that Pascal Wehrlein is set to drive alongside Marcus Ericcson for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Wehrlein is part of Mercedes junior program and had been one of the names in the mix for the seat at the Mercedes factory team that was recently vacated by recently-retired reigning world champion Nico Rosberg. However, the team opted to negotiate a deal with Williams to bring on Valtteri Bottas on a one-year flyer.
The 22-year-old German marks the completion of every team on the grid with the exception of Manor – who is currently in administration.
“It is a new challenge in a new team, and I am really excited and looking forward to this new adventure,” Wehrlein said. “Our objective is to establish ourselves in the midfield and to score points on a regular basis.
“That being said, I will do my best to support Sauber.
“Now I am looking forward to meeting everyone in the team and to tackling the preparations for the 2017 season. I want to say a big thank you to Sauber for trusting in me and giving me this great chance. And surely, a huge thanks also goes to Mercedes for the support.”
Wehrlein, the 2015 DTM champion, enjoyed a solid rookie campaign despite the financial difficulties that plagued development at Manor, having scored a lone point for the tradition backmarker squad in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Sauber team boss Monish Kaltenborn added her optimism in having Wehrlein and his ability to continue to grow in the sport.
“Pascal has shown his talent throughout his career – in single seater racing as well as in the DTM,” Kaltenborn said.
“Last year in his rookie Formula 1 season, he proved his potential by scoring one point in the Austrian GP in Spielberg. There is surely more to come from Pascal, and we want to give him the chance to further grow and learn at the pinnacle of motorsport.