Sauber agrees Wehrlein deal for F1 2017

Sauber has reached agreement for Pascal Wehrlein to line up alongside Marcus Ericsson this year, sources have revealed, paving the way for Valtteri Bottas to take the vacant seat at Mercedes.

Sauber agrees Wehrlein deal for F1 2017
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35 and Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing MRT05 battle for position
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing with the media
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing on the drivers parade

After weeks of speculation about who would replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes – with Wehrlein and Bottas the clear favourites from the start – it appears that the final steps are now being made to get everything signed off formally.

Although Wehrlein had been a contender for the Mercedes seat, it is understood that his lack of experience meant the team felt he was too much or a risk to be promoted to its works team just yet – especially going up against a driver as tough as Lewis Hamilton.

According to sources with good knowledge of the situation, Mercedes has instead now agreed terms with Sauber for it to take its junior driver Wehrlein for 2017. The final details of the contract are still to be finalised, but that should be done in the next few days.

Mercedes has settled on landing Bottas – whose exit from Williams has now been assured, with Felipe Massa having agreed to delay his retirement by another season to ensure that the Grove-based team has an experienced driver on hand alongside rookie Lance Stroll.

The announcements of Bottas, Wehrlein and Massa may well be co-ordinated to ensure that no teams risks being left in an awkward position.

The confirmation of the plans for Mercedes, Sauber and Williams means that the only vacancies left on the grid are now at Manor, which is currently in takeover talks with interested investors.

Esteban Gutierrez is a front-runner for one of the seats, while Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto have also been linked with the outfit.

shares
comments
Honda "half happy" with 2016 F1 progress

Previous article

Honda "half happy" with 2016 F1 progress

Next article

Retired Ferrari ace Jean Alesi warns Felipe Massa: Coming back to F1 is a mistake

Retired Ferrari ace Jean Alesi warns Felipe Massa: Coming back to F1 is a mistake
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021