Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, DTM, 2015

Mercedes said I needed more experience – Wehrlein

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In the round-up: Pascal Wehrlein says Mercedes told him he didn’t have enough experience to take Nico Rosberg’s empty seat at the team.

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Have Honda’s problems kept people from noticing similar trouble at Renault?

As Reme Taffin mentioned, even there power unit is 90% new. It was obvious that even they would have teething problems in pre-season testing, but on the positive note, all the Renault teams have said the performance is an improvement. Unlike Honda, Renault have also identified the problems with their power unit and are already in the process of fixing them for Melbourne. I think they would make a step forward this season, and since it’s a new design, there would be more potential to unlock from it as well.

Honda… is still trying to figure out what went wrong on Vandoorne’s car on day two of the first test.

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Alain Prost took pole position in his first appearance as a Williams driver on this day in 1993 in qualifying for the last South African Grand Prix.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 32 comments on “Mercedes said I needed more experience – Wehrlein”

    1. @keithcollantine “Stroll finding form, won’t set targets for Australian GP bow (Crash)” has been written and linked twice..

      1. I guess, Stroll finding form is news worthy of getting mentioned twice in a single roundup.

        1. Willem Cecchi (@)
          13th March 2017, 8:54

          Max Verstappen wins article of the day.

          1. @willemcecchi Can’t get enough of that joke.

    2. Just 2 weeks from now we’ll be rounding-up the results from the first GP of 2017!!! Hype! Really can’t wait to see the new cars in action.

      1. Let’s hope that we’re as excited after the GP as we’re before it, and that we don’t end up saying “Frak! It really looked as if Ferrari or Red Bull could be up there with the Mercs. Oh well, maybe in 2018”.

      2. I’m taking bets:

        P1. VET
        P2. HAM
        P3. RIC


        1. Big call!!

    3. Wehrlein’s situation is not much different than Kimi’s last time. Kimi has 1 year experience in Sauber and jump straightaway to McLaren. Why is it now different?

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        13th March 2017, 2:49

        @Khaiwong – Because that was McLaren, and this is Mercedes. The same McLaren that promoted both Hamilton and Vandoorne with no F1 experience.

        1. Ocon was on par, if not better than, Wehrlein despite only starting after the summer brake. Force India chose Ocon over Wehrlein for their seat. Mercedes chose Bottas over Wehrlein for their seat. Rumours where Wehrlein was known in the paddock als ‘Princess Pascal’ and that Manor didn’t want him back if they’d made it onto the grid for 2017. Good riddence.

          Look, Wehrlein won the German Formel Masters (now F4), was second in European F3 and won the 2015 DTM championship and was chosen by Mercedes as their (then only) jr driver and they bought a place for him at Manor. At that point Wehrlein probably thought he was the best thing since the invention of sliced bread and apparently acted like it. Now he negative image and has to prove himself while driving at what mostlikely will be the worst car of 2017. Good luck with that Princess.

      2. No unlimited testing maybe? And because joining Mercedes means that he will immediately be put in a title fight against Lewis Hamilton.

      3. For Mclaren it was more of driver confidence they know that if they keep the boys in car they can reliably score points and most importantly take it off from rivals in crucial situations. Lewis proved that and Vandoorne still has a jury in f1 he shown that he was better in junior cadre quite spectacularly.
        For Mercedes they stand to loose the most now and Pascal doesn’t had enough running in Junior cadre his DTM stint doesn’t really made any big stand out point, he was good but not great which is what Merc expected from him. So if they offer him the Merc Seat they fear that he can’t get the points and take the vital points against rivals reliably a 1-2 vs 1-4 or 1-5 means alot to Merc. Hence why they decided to take Bottas instead of Pascal.
        If they really believe pascal was right person they wouldn’t hesitate to give him the seat but their lengthy delay in pursuit of getting Bottas into that seat gave away all the answers that Merc doesn’t consider Pascal as a worthy driver to replace Rosberg as of now. He might be there in future but that depends on pascal improving himself alot which is yet to be seen

        1. I completely agree. Pascal is a massive unknown as yet. At least he’s got a tried and tested Ericcson as a teammate this year. If he wants a chance of landing that Merc seat, he will have to beat him pretty comprehensively.

          1. @todfod
            Agree, Pascal has a known benchmark this time and that’s exactly how he has to prove Merc team that he was worthy to give a go when another option arises. But lets not make Ericsson as a waste driver he improved himself massively in last 2 seasons at best he can be an avg driver so beating him comprehensively will be a tough ask for pascal as well. Interesting to see how it pans out for the Merc young prodigy. If he fails this time though i’m afraid that Ocon will take his place at Merc

      4. There is one point which Werhlein overlooks, which is there were people ahead of him in the queue for that seat, most notably Bottas and Perez, both of whom were the top scoring drivers for their respective Mercedes engined teams. I don’t know why Perez didn’t get the seat, but Williams did charge Mercedes and arm and a leg for the services of Bottas.
        The important thing for Werhlein is he has a seat and has the opportunity to score some F1 points.

        1. I think Perez’s Mclaren stint definitely worked against him in that one. He showed that he can deliver for a midfield team like Sauber… but when it came to driving for a top team, he wasn’t consistent enough in delivering strong performances or working well within the team.

          It was interesting that Hulkenberg was approached by Mercedes, but unfortunately, he had just agreed to drive for Renault by that point in time. It’s a real tragedy, as I feel the Hulk would have been more exciting than Bottas in that 2nd Merc seat.

          1. @todfod i thought Merc approached every one possible but did they approached to poach Hulk just like they tried to poach Bottas , can you post me a source please. Because Hulk at sharp end would have been much better for Merc as well considering they can have their German Affiliation back

      5. Neil (@neilosjames)
        13th March 2017, 7:34

        Experience was only part of it. If Wehrlein had shown as much promise as Raikkonen did in 2001, he’d be sat in a Mercedes now.

        1. Mercedes is at the top of their game, or at least has been lately as we all know, and will at a bare minimum be top 3 or 2 if not 1 again this year. They are in a position to need the best drivers they can get. Bottas was not even their first choice. They would have preferred another WDC beside LH because they are racers on that team. The last thing they were going to do was hire LH a number two, and many even think Bottas is going to be just that, but hopefully he is more than that. If TW had had his way FA would be in that seat. They don’t need to waste this particular top seat training a rookie.

          1. Promoting a relative newcomer to a top team isn’t unusual if they look truly outstanding… just of the current lot (I know you know this as you’ve been a fan at least as long as me, but for my reply to look decent), Raikkonen, Verstappen, Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel all landed in race-winning cars before they’d seen out two full seasons.

            Mercedes have Hamilton… they could easily afford to shove a future superstar into the other seat and I really think they would have done that. Sadly, they didn’t have one.

            1. Yeah I hear you, but race winning cars within two seasons is not the same as dominant cars immediately, and in a team that has touted itself as racers who are not afraid of managing a strong rivalry. Thank goodness TW is not one to designate a one and two. Undoubtedly that would have meant everything would have been for LH, and for those who thought the Merc domination was a problem, imagine if it was only one driver on the team for whom the spoils would go. MS/Ferrari all over again. So if Merc remains dominant this year, and PW was the other driver, talk about a one man show. Some already don’t expect much from Bottas, which I disagree with. I expect VB to rise to the best car he’s ever been in, such are drivers coloured by their cars.

    4. Thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine !

      1. Mclaren covered a bit more than a third of the combined lap count of the Renault powered teams.

        I guess Honda really could do with some additional milage from a second team using their engines.

      2. Much as I hope you’re right, I’m a little worried that the Honda situation has made the Renault’s PU seem better than it actually is.

        I know they’re saying it’s more powerful, but given how far behind it was last year, you would expect that. What we won’t really know until Melbourne is how much more powerful in comparison to Ferrari and Mercedes who also have delivered “more power”

        I have the horrible feeling that is going to be about a second a lap down. Couple that with reliability issues (yes they say the can fix those but they did in 2014 & 2015 as well) which generally means they won’t be concentration on more power for a while and I don’t see them catching up all that soon.

        Not long to go and they’ll all b playing for real and we’ll see how the PU brands fall after qualy in Melbourne.

    5. RE: Werhlein’s comments. I wonder how Hamilton managed as an F1 rookie going toe to toe with a double world champion and causing him problems at a front running team. Cream always rises to the top. While I accept that it is being thrown into the deep end at the end of the day it can be done as history has shown us.

    6. Imagine Alonso had a good engine in that fun Ferrari. M m m.

      I dont get Honda. Mercedes brought in 2014, brand new engine brand new regs and did 5000+ km during testing without major issue while comftably putting out 100hp more than anyone else.

      Honda now in 4th year of new regulations brings in new engine trailing by 100hp hardly able to put a few reliable laps toggether. After 4 years!!! Something is majorly wrong in Honda land.

      Granted Mercedes is mega good, but making an engine that can last 100laps without rebuild and is within 50hp of top competitor should not be bryond Honda reach.

      Or should it?

    7. Is Carlos Sainz doing some rallying in his spare time or is this his dad driving?

    8. Giving a Mercedes chance to WER would be totally unfair – he should earn a seat like that! Even Ericsson would be a better choice…:-)

    9. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      13th March 2017, 17:43

      I think you’re all being a bit harsh on Pascal based on some spurious paddock gossip that none of you have heard or seen first hand. That interview shows a humble guy who’s thankful for what will in all likelihood be the slowest car on the grid. I say good luck to him.

      1. @offdutyrockstar I can’t recall reading a single interview that even would indicate Pascal is a handful in the paddock. I don’t know where this rumour comes from, I can only imagine each time someone reads it as a comment from another reader it gains more believers whilst in reality it’s just gibberish. That he wasn’t chosen due to a lack of experience on the other hand is completely reasonable from Mercedes.

    10. Mercedes should have stuck him in that car and let him race Lewis!

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