Pascal Wehrlein survived a late race bang of wheels with team-mate Esteban Ocon as he brought an end to his first Formula 1 season with a fourteenth place finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Manor Racing MRT driver felt it was a positive way to conclude the year under the lights at the Yas Marina Circuit, with both Wehrlein and Ocon finishing ahead of both Sauber F1 Team drivers, even if they were unable to bring either car home in the positions they needed to jump the Swiss team for tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It was really great to end the season with another strong race performance,” said Wehrlein. “I had a difficult first pit stop and I was quite far back after that, so it was pretty frustrating after a great qualifying and starting from sixteenth on the grid.
“I fought hard to come back from that and we even gained a few places along the way. I was on a different strategy so it wasn’t possible to prevent my team-mate from passing me at the end because I was on really old soft tyres, but at least we finished ahead of Sauber one final time.
“It was a fantastic race to end the season and my thanks to the whole team for the way we have fought together right to the end.”
Wehrlein admitted it was disappointing to see tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship slip through their fingers, but thanked Manor for allowing him the opportunity to make his Formula 1 debut this season, and felt the team have made some great progress during 2016 that they can all be proud of.
“I had a really, really great first season in Formula 1, thanks to everyone at Manor Racing,” said Wehrlein. “I guess it makes me sad that we held onto our point for so long but lost tenth in the Championship.
“It was really unlucky for us but I think we will always remember that day in Austria and celebrating together. My thanks to everyone in the team for all the hard work and pushing so hard so we can make some real progress together.”