Pascal Wehrlein is open to spending a second year at Manor.
That is despite the fact that he admits making the move into F1 with the DTM title under his arm only to find himself at the back of the grid was a “shock”.
“At first it was quite a shock,” he told Germany’s Sport Bild. “But you get used to it.
“As the DTM champion I was probably not prepared for expecting no higher than 20th place.”
Wehrlein, 21, said he knows he is playing a slightly longer game, with the ultimate ambition of one day racing for Mercedes.
“But I also know that Lewis and Nico’s contracts expire at the end of 2018. There is no plan, except to always show my performance.
“If I can come forward after, for example, two years with Manor, that would be very good because I have overcome a major challenge in helping the team.
“Similarly, if I change into another team with Mercedes’ support I could get a more experienced teammate and if I deliver, I have a good chance of getting a Mercedes seat,” Wehrlein added.
Some regard Wehrlein’s current situation at Manor, alongside fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon, as basically a ‘shootout’ for a future Mercedes seat.
“It’s not a direct shootout,” Wehrlein insists, “because there are no places available at Mercedes next year. But yes, I’m sure Mercedes wants to directly compare us.
“In direct comparison, Esteban seems not better than me so far, and he is generally rated really highly. Which is of course good for me.”