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2016 F1

Hopeful Wehrlein ‘relaxed’ amid Manor turmoil

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Hopeful Wehrlein 'relaxed' amid Manor turmoil

Hopeful Wehrlein ‘relaxed’ amid Manor turmoil

Pascal Wehrlein says he is “relaxed” even though the F1 team he is hoping to join for 2016 is in apparent turmoil.

On Friday, recent news that Manor chiefs John Booth and Graeme Lowdon have handed in their resignations was confirmed.

“Abu Dhabi’s going to be my last race with the team,” confirmed Lowdon, without also admitting that the departures are the result of a dispute with current owner Stephen Fitzpatrick and his plans for the future.

Whatever does come next, Manor has a sealed Mercedes engine deal in the bag for 2016, raising hopes that Mercedes’ F1 reserve and new DTM champion Wehrlein will secure a race seat.

“I hope so,” German Wehrlein, 21, told Welt newspaper.

“At the moment my chances are probably 50-50, as it may turn out that I stay in DTM for another year, which wouldn’t be bad. But clearly my goal is to be in F1 one day.”

Another option for 2016, he admitted, is a third Mercedes car in the event that teams pull out of the sport.

“In any case,” said Wehrlein, “it would be a team with a Mercedes engine. There is also the possibility to be reserve driver in a team.”

As for the turmoil that is unfolding at Manor, with not only Booth and Lowdon but also Bob Bell leaving and rumours of a team sale, Wehrlein said he is “pretty relaxed”.

“The (Manor) team for the coming season has not much in common with the current one anyway,” he added. “They are getting Mercedes engines and also support from Williams, so many things are changing.

“I think they will be much more competitive than they were this year,” said Wehrlein. (GMM)

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