Pascal Wehrlein feels there is a lot of positives to be taken away from the Australian Grand Prix after taking the chequered flag sixteenth, one lap down on the race winner Nico Rosberg.
The German debutant was running as high as thirteenth in the early stages of the race for his Manor Racing team, but felt he was compromised by the red flag period caused by the crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez that lost him track position having just made a pit stop when others were able to change their tyres without losing time when the race was neutralised.
Moving onto Bahrain, Wehrlein is hoping for more progress from a team working well together with the common goal to improve.
“First of all it’s great to finish my first race and thanks to the team for that,” said Wehrlein. “I got a fantastic start and I was very happy to find myself in 15th place at the end of the opening lap.
“That first half of the race was really strong and I was pushing hard on the Supersoft and then the Soft. It was great to be as high as 13th at one point and to be racing with Sauber.
“Things turned for me after my first stop, which happened just before the red flag. Our plan was to have a short stint on the Supersoft which meant we pitted for the Soft not long before the crash, so that was a major setback because many of the other cars still hadn’t stopped.
“After that, everyone ahead started to pull away from me and because we were struggling with tyre degradation I couldn’t do anything about it. Towards the end I had a braking issue, so I just had to focus on getting to the flag.
“We’ve all learned a lot this weekend and everyone is working well together, so we’ve made a good start and now we have to push hard to improve.”