Pascal Wehrlein will race for the Sauber F1 team in 2017 where he will partner current driver Marcus Ericsson.

The 22-year-old made his Formula 1 debut last year racing for Manor where he scored the team’s only championship point in Austria, elevating the team to 10th in the constructors’ championship until the Brazilian Grand Prix, when Sauber scored two points and re-took 10th position.

As a member of the Mercedes junior driver programme, Wehrlein was one of the candidates to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes after Nico Rosberg announced his retirement. However, the German lost out to Valtteri Bottas who is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

The 2015 DTM champion was also linked to a seat with the Renault F1 team vacated by Nico Hulkenberg, to which the role was given to his teammate and fellow Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon.

With Manor on the brink of administration, replacing current Sauber driver Felipe Nasr became the only secure seat left on this season’s grid.

“I am very delighted at being a part of the Sauber F1 Team for the upcoming Formula One Season,” Wehrlein said.

“It is a new challenge in a new team, and I am really excited and looking forward to this new adventure. Our objective is to establish ourselves in the mid-field and to score points on a regular basis. That being said, I will do my best to support Sauber.

“I want to say a big thank you to Sauber for trusting in me and giving me this great chance. And surely, a huge thanks also goes to Mercedes for the support.”

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn added: “We are very pleased to confirm Pascal Wehrlein as our second race driver for the 2017 Formula One World Championship. Pascal has shown his talent throughout his career – in single seater racing as well as in the DTM.

“Last year in his rookie Formula One season, he proved his potential by scoring one point in the Austrian GP in Spielberg. There is surely more to come from Pascal, and we want to give him the chance to further grow and learn at the pinnacle of motorsport. I am confident Marcus and Pascal will form a solid combination for 2017.”

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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