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Featured Wehrlein Gets Mercedes DTM Reprieve

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Pascal Wehrlein DTM Move.jpg
    Former Manor and Sauber Grand Prix driver Pascal Wehrlein returns to DTM as his Formula One options dry up for 2018.

    Staying with the three pointed star as he returns to the scene of his 2015 drivers championship success, outgoing Sauber Formula One driver Pascal Wehrlein will form one of the five strong driving strength for the final season of Mercedes DTM career ahead of the German marque moving into the FIA Formula E electric series in 2019.

    Wehrlein impressed during his short two year stay in Formula One, however with Sauber now benefitting from closer links to the works Ferrari outfit via Alfa Romeo branding, the 23-year-old German found himself without a drive for the year ahead. Replaced by Ferrari junior and reigning Formula Two champion Charles Leclec as Sauber opted to keep with the well heeled Marcus Erickson in the second car, Wehrlein quickly started to run out of options to remain in a race seat for the year ahead.

    Despite this difficult career setback, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff continued to be at pains to confirm Mercedes wished to keep Wehrlein within the manufacturer family for the coming year, and it now appears that the German DTM series was the most attractive opportunity remaining for the talented racer.

    With an eye on a Formula One comeback in the near future, Wehrlein is thought to be interested in dovetailing his touring car campaign with selected rounds of the Japanese Super Formula series during the season, a championship that continues to provide an attractive alternative to single seater drivers looking to forge a paid career outside of Grand Prix racing.

    Speaking of the new deal for 2018, Wehrlein said:

    “I have fantastic memories with DTM, not least because of my title win in 2015, but also because of the strong team spirit and the many nice experiences with the guys.

    “I have followed DTM closely during my time in Formula 1 and have been to some races to visit and support the team.

    “Things have changed a lot in DTM since my last race at the season finale at Hockenheim 2015. But I like challenges and I cannot wait to get on track for the first time with our new car. The first tests cannot be here soon enough.”
    Wehrlein will be joined by former champion and fellow ex Grand Prix racer Paul di Resta, teaming up with Williams reserve and long time Mercedes affiliate Gary Paffett and young talents Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara.

    For more from the world of motorsports, check out the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment - go on, get involved in the conversation now!

    Pascal Wehrlein DTM Move 2.jpg Pascal Wehrlein DTM Move 3.jpg

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    Do you thing Wehrlein can fight for wins / championships in DTM? Does the German deserve a second chance in Formula One? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  2. jonofmine

    jonofmine

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    Surely with 2 years experience in F1, a season in DTM will be a breeze.
     
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  3. farjam

    farjam

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    i'm happy for him , but i think Merc counting on him for their formula E plans not F1 (my personal opinion :D)
     
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  4. Sky

    Sky
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    'Pascal Wehrlein will form one of the five strong driving strength for the final season of Mercedes DTM career'

    u wot?
     
  5. James Egan

    James Egan

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    one of 5 drivers for mercs last season
     
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  6. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Not necessarily my friend. There's an art to driving a modern DTM machine. Not everyone can master it, including F1 drivers.

    Good luck to him and hope he does well. Probably the better option in reality as his options in F1 were not very good. Not a massive fan of his but good luck to him.

    His only danger is DTM itself. Lots of politics and you are driving for the largest manufacturers imaginable. Team orders are in place from the first round and the pressure to perform is pretty high.
     
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  7. Rodent

    Rodent
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    I mean when he won it things were pretty much the same? The cars haven't changed that much. If he can keep his motivation up and Merc doesn't bone him strats wise I see no reason why he couldn't do well.

    Motivation's has be an issue though I imagine, bumped out of F1 and given a seat in program that's on it's swan song.
     
  8. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
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    He is looking to dovetail it with a seat in Super Formula as well, looking towards a comeback in F1 in 2019. Apparently (cannot find the source). Toto Wolff backs that, as he expects a big driver shake up between 2018 and 2019 and that there might well be a good seat for Wehrlein then.
     
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  9. apex11

    apex11
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    Insane really to think that had he got Bottas's seat in the Merc we would now be talking about him as a future F1 champ. He would of been as good if not better that Bottas in that Merc.
    As it is he will most likely never return to F1 in anything other than a test role or stand in for injuries....
     
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  10. James Egan

    James Egan

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    hes already won dtm before
     
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  11. XCalinX

    XCalinX

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    HE should have been in that Williams for Gods sake.
     
  12. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Sorry matey, I was very tired when I read that article. Must concentrate more! :laugh::)

    I was listening to a very good interview with a German motorsport journalist some time ago about DTM and the news about Mercedes leaving at the end of 2018.

    I had no idea just how political it was, yes you can imagine some will be evident but I understand the reason why the viewing figures have dipped in Germany is some fans have become slightly annoyed at the amount of it. I understand that during pre-season testing it's decided who will go for the championship and the other drivers in the manufacturer teams then have to fall into line and support that driver.

    I don't get to see as many races as I would like (must try harder in 2018 as the stream is great quality).

    It would be nice if Mercedes did what Audi did with R8 Sportscar many years ago and sold a batch of the 2018 cars to privateers for 2019, instigate a chassis freeze for two years and save costs as well. Just dreaming...:)

    DTM is "old school" in some ways and that's why so many of us love it :)
     
  13. apex11

    apex11
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    Lol old school? Have you seen the cars? Basically Gp2 cars with a body kit. About as far removed from the car they are based on as you can get....not old school at all..
     
  14. James Egan

    James Egan

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    old school as in big loud V8s
     
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  15. apex11

    apex11
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    I think they would be offended to be called old school...Aussie supercars would embrace being called old school as would NASCAR....but not DTM...it is so typically German, forward thinking modern etc etc...
     
  16. MustartMatters

    MustartMatters

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    Say that to Di Resta....
     
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  17. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Compared to the way in which motorsport is going (electric, renewable energies, small capacity turbos) DTM is "traditional" motorsport. High tech, big powerful engines. lovely. Lol

    I would disagree with you being forward thinking. If it was they would have gone small capacity hybrid years ago. That's what manufacturers want to shout about now. Just my opinion that's all :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018