Pascal Wehrlein: “We’ve started to make some progress”

On the day Manor Racing launched the MRT05 to the world, Pascal Wehrlein completed 54 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya during pre-season testing on Monday.

The German driver was late out of the box in the morning session, but set the ninth fastest time of the day of 1m28.292s on the Soft Pirelli tyres, finishing ahead of both the Haas and Renault teams and getting closer to the outright pace than the team managed at any point during 2015 at the circuit.

Wehrlein admitted his delight on his first day in the car as an official Formula 1 driver, and can’t wait to get back into the car on Tuesday to continue development work on the new car.

“A really good first day with the car and for me, so I’m very happy,” said Wehrlein. “I have a great car that’s as good to drive as it is to look at and already we’ve started to make some progress.

“This morning we completed just five laps while we worked with Mercedes HPP to make sure everything was as it should be. This afternoon we started to get into the programme and I added another 49 laps, so 54 laps in total.

“It’s a really promising package so I can’t wait to drive again in the morning. Thanks to the team for making me so welcome. Manor Racing is already feeling a lot like home.”