Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein has reached an agreement with the Sauber F1 team to join the Swiss outfit for the 2017 Formula 1 season. 

The young German had been an original contender to replace the retiring world champion Nico Rosberg alongside Valtteri Bottas, however, Mercedes felt that having spent only a year in Formula 1 meant he lacked the experience required to partner three-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Final details of the contract are still to be confirmed, although it is expected to be finalized in the next few days.

Despite the move seemingly stemming from Rosberg’s shock retirement, Wehrlein had already been touted to join Mercedes once current driver Felipe Nasr’s main sponsor Banco do Brasil, withdrew their title sponsorship from Sauber.

With Bottas set for a move to Mercedes and Felipe Massa ready to make a u-turn on his retirement to fill the void left by the Finn, only two seats at Manor remain up for grabs for 2017.

Having failed to retain his position with Haas F1, Esteban Gutierrez has emerged as a frontrunner for one of the vacant seats, while it seems Nasr will have to fight Rio Haryanto for the final spot on the grid, as the Indonesian has his eyes set on the drive which was taken from him after half a season in 2016.

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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