It’s been a busy start to the year for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Reserve Drive Pascal Wehrlein – a trip to Barcelona, a moment in the media spotlight, countless photo shoots and, of course, two rather special cars to drive – all before his regular commitments in the DTM series have even begun!
Here, we take a look back at the young German’s week in his own words, in numbers and with a few behind-the-scenes shots thrown in for good measure… enjoy!
Wednesday 18 February – Good News!
PW: “I am very happy that Sahara Force India has offered me the opportunity to drive their car for two days at the official test in Barcelona and that Mercedes-Benz has supported me to make this happen. As a young driver, any time you can spend in the car is extremely important and you can learn a lot. I know the simulator already, but I don´t have much experience on the track. My first goal in Spain will be to do a great job together with the team, to learn as much as possible and to give good feedback to the engineers. I have already driven the World Champion Mercedes-Benz F1 W05 Hybrid and the comparison with Sahara Force India will be very exciting for me: the way the team works, how they improve the car and handle problems - all this will help me to gain experience and to reach the next level in my development. Everybody knows that lap times only play a secondary role when you're testing. But, of course, I want to be as competitive as possible. Sahara Force India delivered a very strong performance in the last season and I hope I will be able to make a small contribution to push the team forward and be ready for the opening race in Melbourne.”
Thursday 19 February – Musical Chairs…
PW: “Today was a really good day in my career. I was quite surprised in the morning when I got the information that I would be driving the Mercedes in the afternoon. But I am here and I want to drive, so I am ready for any opportunity. To drive two Formula One cars in one day was amazing, so I'm very happy. We lost a bit of time in the garage which was a shame as I would have liked to do some more laps. But the time I had I really enjoyed. Spending the morning with Force India, also, was a great experience. It's a good team, everyone was really welcoming and after a few laps I felt very confident in the car. I will have another day with them this week so I am really looking forward to getting back out there again.”
Team: Force India (AM) / MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (PM)
Laps Completed: 80 (32 AM / 48 PM)
Distance Covered: 372km (149 AM / 223 PM)
Best Time: 1:28.329 (AM) / 1:28.489 (PM)
Position: P8 (AM) / P9 (PM)
Saturday 20 February – Racking Up the Miles!
PW: “It was great to be back in the car after a surprising Thursday and this turned out to be another great day. When you get into a completely different car to what you are used to, everything is new, from how the car feels to the buttons and dials on the steering wheel. Having had the experience on Thursday really helped me with this, I learnt a lot in these two days and that made a difference for me. The team did really help me settle in my role: everyone welcomed me from the start and made it really easy to work. The atmosphere is great. Today's work was very focussed on set-up and we even managed to include a longer run: it was a good day's work and I am looking forward for more opportunities in the future.”
Team: Force India
Laps Completed: 81
Distance Covered: 377km
Best Time: 1:27.333