Pascal Wehrlein was mystified and a tad miffed after learning that his Manor teammate and fellow rookie has been signed to race for Force India in 2017.
Wehrlein, supposedly top of the Mercedes junior driver hierarchy, was considered a favourite to join Sergio Perez in the team but it is not to be.
“Toto Wolff said that Force India chose Esteban and that is their decision,” revealed the German rookie.
Paddock gossip suggest that Wehrlein did not impress Force India when he tested with them earlier this year.
The young German said, “I don’t know if it was the test and if it was decided by something else. It is like that and I will ask [Force India] why or what happened, or what can I improve from my side… otherwise with the performance on track I am quite happy. It is not the end of the world, it is a missed opportunity, but not the end of the world.”
When asked if the decision to sign Ocon instead of him was fair, Wehrlein said, “I don’t want to answer because it will just turn out bad for me. I will try to do my best in the last races as I always have. In the last six races we have been three times in Q2, so hopefully we can keep up with that.”
Wehrlein said recently that he would be happy to stay with Manor for another year, but even then he is not 100% sure he will be retained by the Mercedes powered team.
“I think it would be easier to stay because for sure there are drivers with a lot of money and if we stay in P10 we get a bit more money. But I don’t know if the team will decide because of that or not or if this is an affect that is very important or not. I don’t know.”
“First of all I hope to stay in Formula One – and where it is, is not my decision. So, I hope we can find a seat for next year and where it is. It is not my decision, but as I also said many weeks before, I would be happy to stay at Manor,” added Wehrlein.