Despite not feeling 100% after a bout of illness that saw him withdraw from testing with the Sahara Force India team on Tuesday, Pascal Wehrlein was back in a Formula 1 car for his parent Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team on Wednesday, completed a day high 137 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in finishing second behind Jolyon Palmer.
The German felt the team had improved the car since the last time he drove it during pre-season testing, but felt comfortable in the car right from the get-go, and praised the team for making such a good car and engine package.
“Today was a really good day,” revealed Wehrlein. “I was driving this car for the second time and it’s always a pleasure – especially after yesterday, which was a big disappointment for me.
“I still don’t feel 100% but it’s much better, so luckily I’ve been able to drive. We did some long runs before lunch and I was able to get a lot of laps, which was good as I had to adapt to the car again. But I felt comfortable from the start.
“The Mercedes Power Unit is unbelievable and the chassis too, with a very good balance. I could feel it has changed a bit since I last drove it during winter testing.
“The team has clearly been working hard and developing it even further. It’s definitely a step forward and I’ve loved every minute of being behind the wheel!”