Formula 1

Wolff delighted with solid race return for Wehrlein in Bahrain

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Pascal Wehrlein finished eleventh in his first race start of 2017 in Bahrain - Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG

Toto Wolff was delighted with the way Pascal Wehrlein came back into the fold in the Bahrain Grand Prix after missing the opening two races of the season due to injury and fitness concerns.

Following a crash during the Race of Champions in Miami back in January, Wehrlein was forced to skip the races in Australia and China as he continued his recovery from a back injury, but returned to make his first race appearance for the Sauber F1 Team in Bahrain, finishing eleventh.

Now Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz motorsport, believes the German is not far away from scoring points for the first time with his new team.

“I’m delighted for Pascal and for how he bounced back in Bahrain,” said Wolff. “He’s still not completely pain free but, considering that fact, he had a brilliant weekend.

“He had a great qualifying and a really solid race. It’s just a matter of time until he scores his first points for Sauber. I’m very happy about that. He’s proven all of the critics wrong.”

Wolff is also happy with how the other Mercedes-Benz protégé on the grid – Esteban Ocon – is fairing, especially compared to his more experienced and highly rated Sahara Force India F1 Team team-mate Sergio Perez.

“As for Esteban, he has a very strong team-mate in Checo Perez to benchmark himself against and that is exactly what he’s doing at the moment,” said Wolff. “He’s on the right trajectory.”

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