Wehrlein Sauber talks on hold amid Mercedes link

Could Pascal Wehrlein now be in contention to replace Nico Rosberg in 2017? - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff has revealed that the talks between Mercedes-Benz and the Sauber F1 Team about installing Pascal Wehrlein at the Swiss team for 2017 have stalled as the German moves into contention for the now vacant seat within the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.

Wehrlein had been in contention from moving to Sauber having spent 2016 racing for the Manor Racing MRT outfit, but with Nico Rosberg retiring from Formula 1 on the back of winning the World Drivers’ Championship, Wolff says talks between the two parties have come to a halt, and even revealed that Mercedes may need to brave with their decision to who will partner Lewis Hamilton next season.

“The talks between us and Sauber are at an advanced state,” said Wolff to German news agency DPA. “In the last couple of weeks I had good talks with them. But due to the new situation they are put on hold for the moment.

“Pascal is an ambitious young man. He has big aims and we share those aims. This is why he is part of our development programme. He’s done a year with Manor. And if I could do a Christmas wish list I would wish for him to have another year or two at a midfield team. But there won’t be a Christmas wish list for me this year.

“Therefore, we have to aim for a good compromise. And as Nico had to take a brave decision, maybe we have to take a brave decision as well.”