Pascal Wehrlein secures Manor GP ride for 2016

Manor Racing is to give rising star Pascal Wehrlein his Formula 1 racing debut.

The 21 year old reigning DTM Champion and Mercedes-Benz Junior driver, from Sigmaringen in Germany, will pilot the all-new Manor Racing MRT05 race car when it hits the track for testing in Barcelona on 22 February. Pascal will take part in both pre-season tests ahead of his first Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Manor Racing’s owner

“Pascal is a sharp driver with a very promising future; Manor Racing is excited to have him aboard. We’re a small team up for a big challenge this season, so we’ve chosen a driver with the talent and hunger to match our own on-track ambitions. Pascal has impressed in testing for Mercedes and Force India, together with commanding performances in DTM, culminating in the championship win last year. Manor Racing is perfectly placed to help Pascal make a big impact in his first season. We’re looking forward to it!”

Pascal Wehrlein

“Manor Racing is a great place for me to start my Formula One racing career – I’m very pleased to be here. It’s a small and totally focused team and I soon hope to know everyone. Though it’s my first F1 season my aim is to help Stephen and the guys achieve their goals. It will be a tough challenge but I think we should be able to challenge for points along the way. It’s going to be good fun. A word for my racing family at Mercedes-Benz, and particularly for Toto, who have guided my career this far and made this opportunity possible. Thanks for the incredible support to help me achieve my dream; now it’s down to me to grab the moment and perform on track.”

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So there is only one seat left for this F1 season. I have seen a price of $15 Million quoted for the second seat at Manor. However if the chassis is good, with a competitive Mercedes power unit the team could take a risk on choosing talent over funding, and hope to score some points this year. Remember that the prize fund only extends down to tenth place,, and there are eleven teams currently on the grid.


They are certainly going to give the other backmarkers a run for their money.


They are looking at that Chinese dude who has sponsor money right?,i hope he does’nt get the second seat, and Alexander Rossi gets it, would be a shame for Rossi to loose out now.

Negative Camber

I’ve seen people say that on Twitter but haven’t read a story that quotes the team as looking closely at him. Not saying it’s not true, I just haven’t read it yet.

Tom Firth

I take it, you are referring to Indonesian, Rio Haryanto?

Unless he’s somehow managed to retain the Super License he gained in 2012, he’s not got the points. Not that it makes any difference…

Tom Firth

On that point, I assume because he was an F1 test driver as well before his seat with Manor, Wehrlein has already secured his Super License before the new regs came in?

Negative Camber

Down to the superlicense issue, that does play in Rossi’s favor but I’ve seen lots of numbers about how much that seat will cost. Some say $8m others say $15m…I have no idea what Dave Ryan is looking for in terms of money but those kinds of numbers would be hard for a lot of drivers to deliver.

Tom Firth

It would, but i guess it all depends on what the deal is with Wehrlein and Mercedes on how much cash the team needs, Presumably as a Mercedes Junior driver, is some sort of deal connected to them giving Wehrlein the seat, you’d imagine? Hence the difference in numbers, perhaps?