Rising star Pascal Wehrlein is hoping talks with the FIA clear the path for him to obtain a super licence for what could be his Formula 1 debut in 2016.
The 20-year-old German is now one of the hottest new names in the paddock, having been appointed Mercedes’ official reserve driver for 2015.
He tested the title-winning Mercedes W05 last November in Abu Dhabi, and then last week in Barcelona split his time between the new W06 and the 2014 car fielded by Force India.
Under the existing rules, he has obtained a ‘super licence’ for 2015, should he be needed by Mercedes to race this season.
But in the wake of Max Verstappen’s highly controversial debut and the FIA’s clamping down on its credentialing system, a driver like Wehrlein will technically not be allowed on the grid from 2016.
That is because he races in the German touring car series DTM, whose drivers are not even eligible to earn super licence ‘points’ according to the FIA’s new system.
So given that the heavily Mercedes-backed Wehrlein is likely to be a frontrunner for a grand prix debut next year, the German marque has commenced talks with the FIA over the matter of his 2016 super licence.
“Mercedes has discussed it with the FIA,” the young German is quoted by Tuttosport. “This season would not be a problem, but in 2016 we will have the new system of points, so we’ll see.”
“I have already done a lot of testing and so it should not be a problem to race next year in formula one,” Wehrlein added.