The German DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein has been announced as the first driver for the Manor F1 team this year. The 21 year old racer has been linked with the team ever since it was announced they would be using Mercedes engines this year. He has been closely linked with the reigning world champions and impressed with his speed in his role as reserve driver last year. Wehrlein said of the announcement " Manor racing is a great place to start my Formula One racing career - I'm very pleased to be here. Though it's my first F1 season my aim is to help Stephen and the guys achieve their goals. It will be a tough challenge, but I think we should be able to challenge for points along the way." He also added his thanks to Mercedes too "A word for my racing family at Mercedes Benz, and particularly for Toto, who has guided my career this far and made this opportunity possible. Thanks for the incredible support to help me achieve my dream; now it's down to me to grab the moment and perform on track." Manor F1 team principal Stephen Fitzpatrick also produced a statement announcing the news. He said "We're a small team up for a big challenge..so we've chosen a driver with the talent and hunger to match our own on track ambitions. Pascal has impressed in testing for Mercedes and Force India, together with commanding performances in the DTM... Manor racing is perfectly placed to help Pascal make a big impact in his first season." Wehrlein will get his first running in the new Manor MRT05 on the opening day of the first pre-season test in Barcelona on February 22nd. The team struggled through the 2015 season after being saved at the last minute, but should perform a lot better in 2016. The team have acquired Mercedes engines and a technical partnership with Williams for this year. This announcement leaves only one vacancy left in F1, and there are plenty of contenders for the second Manor seat. It's believed the American Alex Rossi is the favourite to land the drive. After impressing last year he recently said "things are looking positive" in his attempts to remain in F1 this year. Outside contenders include Manor's driver from last year Will Stevens and GP2 contender Rio Haryanto is believed to in talks with the team also. A decision on the teams second driver will likely be made soon, with time ticking before the opening pre-season test later this month. For now Wehrlein can be excited that he has secured a F1 deal and can now focus on impressing the rejuvenated Manor team this season. What are your thoughts on this announcement?