- Title: Wehrlein to race for Sauber F1 team
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FILE - OCTOBER 28, 2015) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF WILLIAMS DRIVER VALTTERI BOTTAS POSING FOR MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE BOTTAS TAKING SEAT AT NEWS CONFERENCE MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FILE - OCTOBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WILLIAM'S FELIPE MASSA OF BRAZIL AND BOTTAS POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 12:54
- Keywords: Pascal Wehrlein Formula One Mercedes Sauber Manor
- Location: SINDELFINGEN AND STUTTGART, GERMANY / BANBURY, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MOGYOROD, NEAR BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: SINDELFINGEN AND STUTTGART, GERMANY / BANBURY, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MOGYOROD, NEAR BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Motor Racing,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0055ZBWZSV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German driver Pascal Wehrlein will race for Sauber this season, the Swiss-based Formula One team said on Monday (January 16) in a move that clears the way for Finland's Valtteri Bottas to join world champions Mercedes.
Wehrlein, 22, was the Mercedes reserve driver and raced for tail-enders Manor last year. He also won the DTM (German Touring Car) championship in 2015.
Mercedes need to replace Germany's world champion Nico Rosberg, who retired in December, and their choice was seen as being between their own young drivers or signing the more experienced Bottas from Williams.
Wehrlein's hopes had already receded considerably, however, with Williams' deputy team principal Claire Williams saying on Sunday that a deal for Bottas to move was almost done.
Confirmation of the Finn's future is expected imminently, with Brazilian Felipe Massa expected to come out of retirement and race again for Williams alongside Canadian teenage rookie Lance Stroll.
Instead of partnering triple world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Wehrlein will now race for a Ferrari-powered team and take the place of Brazilian Felipe Nasr as team mate to Sweden's Marcus Ericsson.
"It is a new challenge in a new team, and I am really excited and looking forward to this new adventure. Our objective is to establish ourselves in the mid-field and to score points on a regular basis," Wehrlein said in a Sauber statement.
"I want to say a big thank you to Sauber for trusting in me and giving me this great chance. And surely, a huge thanks also goes to Mercedes for the support."
Sauber finished 10th overall last season, a place ahead of Manor - who have since gone into administration - thanks to points scored by Nasr in his home race. Wehrlein had scored Manor's only point in Austria.
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