Pascal Wehrlein’s chances of securing one of the two Manor F1 Team drives for 2016 are fading, according to the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff.
The 2015 DTM Series champion has been spoken about in recent months about possibly securing one of the two remaining vacant seats on the F1 grid for 2016, but due to a financial shortfall, the chances look to be diminishing.
Mercedes were thought to be willing to provide Manor with €4million to promote their 2015 reserve driver into the race seat with the perennial backmarkers, but with other drivers seemingly able to bring more money, it looks as though Wehrlein will miss out.
Indonesian GP2 Series race winner Rio Haryanto is believed to have the backing of the Indonesian government, and could be bringing upwards of £10million in sponsorship, something Wolff insists is damaging to the sport.
“With the amount that was in the media to buy a ride like this you destroy F1,” said Wolff, who is likely to keep Wehrlein in his DTM line-up for 2016 to defend the championship should the twenty-one-year-old miss out on an F1 drive.