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Wehrlein to remain with Mercedes despite F1 axe

Written by  Jan 10, 2018

Former Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein will remain part of the Mercedes motorsport program in 2018, Toto Wolff has confirmed.

The young German was dropped by the Swiss team after just one year with Ferrari junior and Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc stepping up as part of their new enhanced partnership with the Italian team.

Despite the setback, however, he continues to have the backing of the German manufacturer with Wolff insisting his potential has not been forgotten.

"Pascal definitely deserves a place in Formula 1," the Austrian told Motorsport.com. "[He] is certainly one of the fastest drivers."

There was speculation Wehrlein could return to the DTM for what is Mercedes' final year in the series he won in 2015, but currently, his plans for this year are unknown.

"At the moment it looks a little bit bitter as far as the available driver seats are concerned," Wolff admitted.

"Whether or not he actively participates in a racing series other than F1, he will definitely remain part of our squad."

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Wehrlein would have been looking to make an impact in 2018, as speculation over the future of Valtteri Bottas continues, with the Finn only on a one-year deal at Mercedes.

Once considered a possible replacement for Nico Rosberg, now it seems a chance in the works team could be further away than ever with fellow junior Esteban Ocon's remarkable rise and Daniel Ricciardo considering a future away from Red Bull.

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