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Featured Mercedes Young Gun Crowned DTM Champion

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    Mercedes AMG Petronas young driver and sometime Force India third driver Pascal Wehrlein has become the youngest champion in the history of the DTM.

    At just 20 years of age Pascal Wehrlein entered the final round at Hockenheim with a 37 point lead and secured the title with an eight place finish after all of his rivals encountered problems during Saturday's opening race.

    Beating such experienced names as former DTM champion Mattias Ekström (driving for Audi) and Sector 3 Studios development driver Bruno Spengler amongst others, this title marks somewhat of a career crossroads for the young German driver.

    Part of the Mercedes Young Driver Development Program, Wehrlein adds this latest achievement to an already impressive resume that includes victory in the 2011 ADAC Formel Masters Series and runner up in the following years F3 European Series.

    Concentrating on a switch to touring car racing alongside his Formula One commitments since 2013 Wehrlein has shown increasing maturity in his performances this year, securing 5 podiums and 2 victories on route to championship success. Against one of the strongest fields in recent seasons and driving for a manufacturer that has been finding success hard to come by recently, this championship comes as a shot in the arm for both driver and team.

    The question now on everybody's lips is will the talented young German secure a Formula One drive in the coming season or will he return to the DTM series and defend his hard won title next year?

    Championship success could well mean farewell to his touring car adventures. Speaking about the potential of moving away from the DTM to DPA news agency Wehrlein said “If that was the case, on one hand it would be a shame, especially as this year has been so much fun with the team — and successful too... On the other hand, I want to be in Formula One and I will do everything to make it happen." He also added that he and the team will discuss the "options there are and what would be the best for me. But it may well be that we decide to go for another year of DTM.”

    With no room at the works Mercedes Grand Prix team, it appears that the most likely opportunity would be driving one of the newly Mercedes powered Manor cars next season. Although the Sheffield operation have struggled since making their debut in 2010 many are expecting 2016 will bring great improvements in performance for the young team. With Mercedes engines and electronics and a year of development on the 2016 car (Manor have openly admitted 2015 was written off early in the year and development switched to the new 2016 model) the move might be somewhat of a masterstroke for the young German. Mercedes will have full access to his data during the season and many in the works operation will be keeping an eye on this young star as a potential works driver of the future.

    Do you think that Pascal Wehrlein has done enough this season to earn a drive next year in Formula One? Leave your comments below!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2015
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  2. Milos

    Had things gone my way, who knows..

    yes he did.
    But to be fair, so has Vandoorne
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  3. There's others who are more deserving. Pascal was consistent but he wasn't a regular winner. I think he had two wins all season. Guys like Ghiotto, Vandoorne, Rosenqvist, Rossi, Giovinazzi, Vaxvivere and Rowland to name a few are more worthy

    I think he is a good future talent and he does deserve a seat in F1, I just feel others are more worthy and would be unfair, especially to those who have dominated like Vandoorne and Rowland, if Wehrelin is picked over them
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    I have to agree on the comments above.
    Although I do think the young lad is a good prospect for the future, I'm just not sure if he has that star quality we see so often in the young champions of the future (think Seb Vet, Kimi, Lewis etc).

    Saying all that, I do think he is good, and it looks from his testing form that he's probably better suited to Formula One cars than some of the lower formula cars his driven in the past (many have been like that, immediately I'd think of someone like Nasr who never really did much before but actually looks pretty decent in a Sauber).
    At the end of the day, if he keeps Merc backing then I'm sure he's got plenty of wins to come, and maybe even a title or two in the future.

    Must agree with @Milos and @tigerkart_22 above, Vandoorne looks like the better prospect (and I think Alex Lynn might be good too) so maybe it might be a good career in DTM beckons?

    Interesting times....
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  5. Jake Fangio

    Jake Fangio
    Please don't rain pleeaassee don't rain

    Perhaps a season or two in Gp2 would do the trick.I know it's no guarantee of an F1 drive if you win it.But it's great experience in a powerful open wheeler. Plus in two years I think Rosbergs contract is up.And the way he's been consistently beaten by Hamilton, merc may consider bringing in new blood.
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  6. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    Yes and no, being DTM champion at just the age of 20 shows that you're a super-duper young talent. Though there are other racers who are in the same situation as him. Look at rossi, vandoorne, magnussen (who has been released). As there are not many seats left and as he'll probably not go to Lotus, Manor would be his only option. But then again you have other drivers who have the possibility to go to Manor.

    All in all, I won't be seeing him in formula 1 next season, though maybe in a few years he'll be there.
  7. He will be in F1 with Manor. Its why Manor has Mercedes engines
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    That's confirmed?
  9. Juergen

    Premium Member

    The only thing i have to say about him: "I need DRS!!!" :roflmao:
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  10. Milos

    Had things gone my way, who knows..

    it's only speculation. But hey, Mercedes is the best force in F1, has the best power unit, and sure giving it to someone will require something in return. (as they are very strict on who they want to give engines - look at Red Bull)
    Effectively he'd be a pay driver for Manor, but instead of money, they are giving Manor engines.
    It's a win-win situation for both, so it might happen.
  11. Could mean we see a manor being more competitive too depending on if they can sort their act out with a chassis.
  12. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    I'd stay in DTM personally. Why switch to a failing series that treats drivers like crap? Doesn't pay many of them? Although DTM is close to F1, it's crucially different and the races are always great, IMO. First, the drivers matter. Second, the races are not micromanaged. Third, the cars are less of a factor than in F1. In fact, who expected BMW to win? Bernie has been right all along, and whether you love him or hate him, the man saw this ratings/popularity disaster coming and still speaks out about it, and for the drivers (or himself) lol. The FIA isn't talking about polling the fans. Neither are Mercedes. Or Ferrari. Or Red Bull. And Fernando said the same thing re: drivers. And he was right about the engines (although I would not have said it in Honda's backyard). And it was not Bernie who drove this recent debacle. It was the Engine Manufacturers (who really run the sport) with FIA blessing.


    "It should be when the lights go off they are on their own. They don't need somebody telling them their co-driver is doing this through that corner, or whatever.

    "It's an engineers' championship. I'm not saying Lewis [Hamilton] isn't a super driver, but he is getting a hell of a lot of help.

    "I'd like to see him in a GP2 car with the GP2 drivers. I'm not saying he wouldn't win, but it would be interesting."

    Mosley concurred as he said: "It's supposed to be a double competition - men and machines.

    "But if the engineering competition starts to take over from the human competition, F1 in my opinion loses an essential element."
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
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  13. Not confirmed but its very likely
  14. Leynad777

    Premium Member

    Audi won most races, but with different drivers, so they lost due to less tactics. DTM is very close (the hole field within 1.5 seconds in qualifying) and the cars have much in common (the list of differences would be short). All drivers had very inconstant performance during the season and Wehrlein finished 20. (starting on 17.) on his last race for example. There´s a rumor, that the tyres tend to differ in quality and if this makes only 0.2 seconds for a lap, it can be 7 places behind another one which got lucky with the tyres.

    But to sum it up: DTM is pretty boring compare to GT-Masters. I watched like 80% of the races in this season and on all weekends there was at least one exiting race. Good BOP for the cars, but different skills. It was more fun, thrilling and crashes as well.
  15. I think he is a good driver but he is not top notch like Hamilton or Vettel or Alonso. And to be honest i dont think Mercedes would be interested in him if he wasnt German. Mercedes is just looking for a German to replace Rosberg in a few years thats why they are pushing this kid. And why not ? I do believe he has what it takes to become at least as good as Rosberg and maybe even better. Maybe they will set something up with Manor to place him in their team to find out if he is really up for it. But at the moment im not quit convinced that he deserves his spot in F1. I think there are other drivers out there who really do deserve to be in F1 like Ocon, Vandoorne or Frijns.
  16. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    I wish we got the Masters over here. But the truth is, we are awash in GT racing. I could name about 6-8 "major" racing series' that essentially take a sedan or "stock car" and either modify it a little or create a whole new car and put the sticker on it (NASCAR). Interestingly, NASCAR is very low tech compared to DTM, but high priced. Talking is not banned, but they wouldn't have much telemetry to go off of anyway. Then there is The Pirelli World Challenge which stole the GT spotlight from United Sport Car, Trans Am, The Porsche Supercup, NARRA, ARCA, etc, etc.

    The reason I love DTM is because it somehow combines the precision of F1 (compared to most GT Racing) and both the bump & run style of most GT racing with the uncertainty of it. Not much of the latter, but just enough, as you point out, to make the drivers earn it. Its not that the cars aren't alike (I agree they are) it's that they are built to be more like an F1 car than a NASCAR car. Yet, they let them race (it was either the last turn or the first turn at Hockenheim where literally every driver on every lap exceeded the track limits and also many intentional collisions went unpunished, just like NASCAR). So there is a balance there that appeals to me, to push technology, but keep the sound and fury of GT racing intact. That's DTM. It's unique.
  17. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    Why all the talk of Vandoorne? Isn't Magnussen clearly the choice here, just statistically? He beat Vandoorne in a direct man to man battle in 2013 Renault 3.5, has raced for F1 (finishing ahead of Kimi and Kvyat, three places behind Jenson in 2014) and won a truckload in almost every Formula 3 series (didn't know there were that many!).
  18. You have to remember that Vandoorne was a rookie and Magnussen wasn't in Formula Renault 3.5. In F1, he was very unimpressive. He beat Raikkonen, who had a terrible season like Magnussen. You can't say he beat Kvyat because of talent. Kvyat was in a Toro Rosso. Finally, he scored only half the points Button got

    Then there's Vandoorne who has completely dominated GP2 by over 100 points in one of the most competitive fields in only his second season. It took the likes of Palmer four seasons
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  19. Andreas Knöpke

    Andreas Knöpke
    Let's drive side by side! Premium Member

    Not a fan of Wehrlein but I'd say the competition in DTM is tougher than in GP2. If a guy win basically everything you could argue he is far superior or you make the counter argument that the competition is just horribly bad. So the Wehrlein - Vandoorne point others made above doesn't work for me.

    Motorsports is not about "derserving a spot" for many many years anymore now. It's about who brings money and who is lucky to be under the cover of a big brand.

    Some people are better in certain cars and transitions to higher series are not always a good idea.
    Let's see where they end up in 2016.
    In 2014 when Wittman dominated DTM they also predicted him a bright future, this year was mediocre and next year might be the same again.
    Looking back at the more recent DTM seasons shows no repeat winner, I'd say competition is high but winning a title does not always mean you have outclassed the competition or have much more talent which would mean a step up into another series would be an easy task.