German Wehrlein is a Mercedes-backed junior driver, but although Wolff recommended him for the Williams seat, the British team appears to be choosing between either Sergey Sirotkin, Daniil Kvyat or Robert Kubica.
It is the last seat on the 2018 grid, prompting Mercedes boss Wolff to say: “Pascal deserves to be in formula one. He’s an excellent driver.
“He’s not in an easy position because there are no seats open to him,” Wolff is quoted by Italy’s Corriere dello Sport.
“It’s a shame, because he has the potential to win and his performances on the track have been exceptional.”
It therefore means that if Mercedes is looking to replace Valtteri Bottas for 2019, the better placed candidate is now Esteban Ocon, the other Mercedes junior who is staying with Force India.
Wolff said: “Our goal is to find the new Lewis Hamilton, which is not easy because he is at a very high level.
“Our strategy is to hire quick drivers who already have experience. Mercedes is not a place to learn,” he added. “Those who arrive here must already be a complete driver.”