2016 F1

Manor-Mercedes will make a big step – Wehrlein

Manor-Mercedes will make a big step - Wehrlein

Manor-Mercedes will make a big step – Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein on Wednesday admitted his Manor race deal is for one season only.

“I have a one year contract here,” he told Speed Week at the team’s Banbury (UK) headquarters, ahead of a seat fitting in the new Mercedes-powered MRT05 car.

21-year-old Wehrlein, the Mercedes reserve and youngest ever DTM champion, is on loan from the German marque, after Manor announced the deal on Wednesday.

As to who his teammate will be, the German driver is unsure.

It is believed Alexander Rossi, the 2015 incumbent, and Indonesian rookie Rio Haryanto are now vying for the last seat on this year’s grid.

“I hope that my teammate will be a good driver so that we can push each other and develop the car well,” Wehrlein said on Wednesday.

“Whether this is a young or an experienced driver is not so important to me,” he added. “Basically, I will focus only on myself.”

Wehrlein said Manor’s 2016 package, with a title-winning Mercedes engine and Williams gearbox and suspension, looks promising on paper.

Well-known technical and management personalities have also come on board.

“Last year, the gap to the competition was significant, that’s true,” he admitted. “But now there is optimism in the team because of all the new partnerships, and what I have seen so far in the factory looks good.

“At the same time we can’t forget how big the gap was. But I am convinced that we will make a big step. How big it will be, nobody knows yet.”

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