Pascal Wehrlein deserves his place in Formula 1 according to Toto Wolff, although the Mercedes-Benz-protégé looks set to miss out on a drive in 2018.
The German competed with the Sauber F1 Team in 2017 and scored all five of the Swiss outfits points but has lost his drive alongside Marcus Ericsson to Scuderia Ferrari youngster and 2017 FIA Formula 2 Champion Charles Leclerc, while the one remaining seat on the grid at Williams Martini Racing looks set to go to Sergey Sirotkin.
However, Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, feels Wehrlein has the potential to be a successful Formula 1 driver, and it would be disappointing to see him not be on the grid in 2018, even though they are already looking into other potential racing programmes to keep him race-ready.
“Pascal is in a difficult position because there is not really an open spot for next year if Williams’s door closes,” said Wolff to Autosport. “He deserves to be in Formula 1, he is a very good driver.
“On track his performance was exceptional, and for many other reasons that go much beyond the driving the doors haven’t opened like we would have hoped.
“But I think he has the potential of being a successful Formula 1 driver.”