Mercedes and Pascal Wehrlein to part ways
|Author: Bradley Lord||Published: 14th September 2018 14:33|
Toto Wolff commented: "Our junior programme has always been about supporting young talent and finding opportunities that are in the best interests of the drivers' careers. It is not always a straight path to the top - and sometimes we have to recognise that it is the right time to end a relationship, too."
After six seasons together, including conquering the 2015 DTM title and two seasons in Formula One, Pascal Wehrlein and Mercedes-Benz will part ways by the end of the 2018 season.
As a Mercedes-Benz driver, Pascal became the youngest starter in DTM history in 2013, the series' youngest race winner in 2014 and then youngest champion in 2015.
This success provided the platform for his Formula One debut in 2016 with Manor, followed by a second season with Sauber in 2017. In both years, Pascal delivered stand-out performances which delivered both teams valuable and unexpected constructors' points.
With Mercedes unable to secure him a Formula One drive for 2018, Pascal returned to the DTM for this season and is currently P8 in the drivers' standings.
Now, the time has come for Pascal and Mercedes to part ways.
"My contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2018 season and we have jointly decided not to continue further together. I am looking for new challenges and opportunities, and am currently talking to other teams about a cockpit for next season.
"I am very grateful for all the support Mercedes has offered me - from my first meeting with Gerhard Ungar and Norbert Haug in 2012, to the decision with Toto to join DTM instead of F3 in 2013, through to my title in 2015; it was a dream come true for a kid who drew up an hour from Stuttgart.
"That opened the door to Formula 1, first with Manor and then Sauber; the points I scored with both teams were huge moments. Thank you to everybody in Stuttgart, Affalterbach and Brackley who has supported me along the way. And now it's time to take the next step."
Toto Wolff commented:
"Our junior programme has always been about supporting young talent and finding opportunities that are in the best interests of the drivers' careers. It is not always a straight path to the top - and sometimes we have to recognise that it is the right time to end a relationship, too.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't offer Pascal a competitive drive for next year. In his best interests, we have therefore decided together with Pascal not to extend our agreement and to give him the best chance of securing an opportunity elsewhere that his talent merits. We want to thank him for his fantastic performances for Mercedes-Benz in recent years and wish him all the best for the future."