Pascal Wehrlein says he was not surprised when he heard in Hungary that Nico Rosberg is staying at Mercedes for the next two years.
Asked by the German website motorsport-magazin.com how he heard the news, Manor driver Wehrlein answered in Budapest: “This (Friday) morning. Just like everybody else.”
Wehrlein, 21, is strongly supported by Mercedes and was widely regarded as the obvious choice had Rosberg not been retained by the German team.
But he said he is not disappointed.
“No, because it was assumed that his contract would be renewed. It means I have a bit more time to get used to F1,” Wehrlein added.
Even though Mercedes is locked up for now, the next step for Wehrlein remains unclear. He could stay at Manor, but it has also been rumoured that he could move to the similarly Mercedes-powered Force India, to replace Sergio Perez.
“My future is still totally open,” he admits.
“I have a one year contract with Manor and I don’t know yet what I will do next year. I think the first talks will take place after the summer break.”
Apparently on the brink of joining F1’s championship-winning team, rookie Wehrlein’s performance in 2016 has been mixed and he admits his future is unclear.
“If someone (a driver) buys into the (Manor) team and there is no place for me, I can’t do anything,” he admitted.
“I think I have done a good job. I scored a point for the team, which really could not have been expected, but you never know what the future holds.”