Pascal Wehrlein tested a 2014 Formula 1 car for the first time in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team, and ended the day with the quickest time.
The German, who in 2014 became the youngest winner of a DTM Series race when he took the chequered flag first at the Lausitzring in September, had been confirmed as the official reserve driver in the same month, and took to the track on Wednesday to complete 96 laps of the Yas Marina Circuit.
Wehrlein admitted he enjoyed his time on track in the current W05 Hybrid, having run at the Portimao circuit in Portugal earlier this season in a 2012 W03. He has also spent many hours in the teams’ simulator during the season, and felt his experience on track would be beneficial when giving feedback back at the factory.
“I really enjoyed today; it was a great day,” said Wehrlein. “The first time in this car and the second time in a Formula One car; I had a lot of fun. We completed our planned test programme and there were no problems.
“The change between a DTM car and a Formula One car is a big difference, so this was the biggest challenge today, particularly with the brakes. It’s a fantastic racing car; it’s good to see myself quickest but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter as everyone has a different test programme. The important thing was that I was able to improve a lot during the day and complete the full test programme.
“I’ve been in the simulator since the beginning of the year and I enjoy the work there, so I hope to continue that in 2015 to be able to learn even more. This test will certainly help with the feedback there too.”