Coming off the back of a successful second test in Barcelona, many could believe that Pascal Wehrlein has been around the paddock for years, but the 20-year-old only joined F1 champions Mercedes AMG Petronas in September.
The fact that Wehrlein is already the third driver in a championship winning team shows just how talented the young German is, and in how high esteem he is held by Mercedes chiefs.
Only four years ago the Sigmaringen born driver was finishing first in the ADAC Formel Masters in only his second season in cars and on his way up the single seater ladder before Mercedes bosses spotted his progress in the Formula Three Euro Series and was contracted by the three-pronged star to join their DTM effort.
A first season racing tin tops saw him finish a disappointing 22nd in the championship, but the season just gone he became the youngest ever winner of a DTM race when he stood on the top step of the podium at EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
Now, in a sign that Wehrlein is very much becoming a rising star he is becoming a lead in the Mercedes attack on a trophy it last laid hands on in 2010 and has spent a number of years in the wilderness.
However, he is very much hitting a cross roads at the moment – testing sessions for Mercedes and Sahara Force India have shown that he is highly thought of in the Formula One world. But with the rules surrounding Super Licenses changing next year, Wehrlein wouldn’t qualify and should negotiations between the German manufacturer and the FIA break down – he could be stuck on the sidelines trying to build up enough points.
Hopefully, with the knowledge in the FIA’s minds that Wehrlein has got the pace for F1 – he finished 19th fastest over the four days of the test in a Force India he hadn’t driven before, as well as jumping in the Mercedes W06 at short notice – we will see him racing at the top of the single seater tree.
Although motorsport is nothing if not predictable but two things are for certain, the young German has a long career ahead of him and he will excel in anything he turns his hand to.