Pascal Wehrlein: “We had a chance at a really strong race today”

Credit: Manor Racing

Pascal Wehrlein had a disappointing Mexican Grand Prix, with his race was over before it really had even began.

The Manor Racing MRT driver qualified in sixteenth, after he reached Q2 of qualifying on Saturday for the fourth time in 2016. From this performance, Sunday was looking promising for Wehrlein but after Esteban Gutierrez hit him from behind, the impact launched him into the air and pushing him into Marcus Ericsson, meaning his Grand Prix was over with broken suspension at turn three on the opening lap.

Wehrlein caused a Virtual Safety Car to recover his broken MRT05, but the German doesn’t understand why a driver would risk so much at the beginning of the Grand Prix.

“We had a chance at a really strong race today,” said Wehrlein. “For that opportunity to be ripped away before we’d even begun was difficult to take.

“I got a great start, gained two places and I was up to 14th – then it was over. I was in front and when I turned in, Gutierrez hit me from behind. That’s it. The impact launched me into the air and that pushed me into Marcus Ericsson.

“My suspension was broken and my race was over. I was on the outside, leaving a lot of space and that is a left and right chicane. I don’t understand why you would risk so much there when it’s such a long race.”

Wehrlein believes the Banbury-based outfit need to keep working at the level from practice and qualifying at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. As Sauber F1 Team are getting closer to the points, with Marcus Ericsson finishing in eleventh.

“It’s not the end to the weekend we deserved,” added Wehrlein. “But there are only good things to say about practice, qualifying and the way the team has performed here.

“We need to keep working at this level because from where I ended up watching the race, it made for very uncomfortable viewing. We have to do everything possible to secure our championship position and ensure that our result in Austria counts.”