Mercedes protégé and former reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that lack of experience cost him the second seat at the team after Nico Rosberg retired.
The 22 year-old German was a leading candidate for the second seat at the championship winning team, alongside Valtteri Bottas who eventually got the drive making the move from Williams. Despite the long term relationship with Mercedes, it wasn’t enough for Wehrlein to secure the seat, even with a DTM crown and a season at Manor Racing behind him. He had also missed out on the Force India drive to former teammate Esteban Ocon, which should she him further up the field this season.
Wehrlein confirmed to Autosport that Toto Wolff stated that one year of Formula One experience wasn’t enough, “One year of experience is not enough. It was quite clear.
“He said, ‘we think it would be good for you to have more experience, one year was not enough and especially in the second year, drivers are always making big progress.’
“I think Mercedes wants to have a perfect driver, who is at his limit. At the moment I am not on my limit where I could be, because of the [lack of] experience and that is quite clear.”