Wehrlein claims small F1 teams just 'participating' as he hails competitive Formula E

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Pascal Wehrlein believes smaller teams are only "participating" in Formula 1 due to their inability to compete at the front.

The German made the claim as he praised the ability of his current series Formula E to attract the major manufacturers while not ruining the playing field for the drivers, as is the case for midfield runners in F1.

“Formula E is really competitive,” he told the Inside Electric podcast. “We have a lot of manufacturers and the level is really high.

“But what I enjoy is that it’s still fair. You have other series where there are bigger brands and smaller teams and obviously you see a big difference in competitiveness and lap times.

"And that’s just because one team can spend a lot of money and the other is unfortunately not able to spend so much, therefore they are just, in my opinion, participating.”

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The main reason for the equality across the FE grid is the use of single-spec cars, but whereas F1 would rule out such an idea as against its DNA, Wehrlein believes there is still enough areas where the teams can make the difference.

“I like the idea of Formula E that some parts of the cars are spec parts so you’re not allowed to change the aerodynamics and so on. So on one hand that’s still very simple for the teams," he said.

“But they are still able to develop their own powertrain and so on. So the teams can make a difference in those areas, but they are are a lot smaller than what you’ve got in Formula 1, for example. Which means that the teams are a lot closer together.

“It’s more fair for the drivers. There’s not only one or two teams which are able to win, there are a lot of teams, nearly all of them have the chance to win, and I really like that.

"So on a good day, you really feel like you’ve achieved something great. And I like that: You are driving against all the drivers.”

When the former Mercedes junior made his Formula E debut in 2019, he looked set to take the series by storm, finishing second in his first race and claiming pole in his third.

Since then though, Wehrlein has only managed two fourth places and has struggled during Season 6 with Mahindra.

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Still, the action-packed races mean at least the 25-year-old is still having fun, something he couldn't say about F1.

“I have been in Formula 1 and I always had the feeling, in Manor or in Sauber as well, we are just driving against one or two teams. Which means you are driving against four drivers, maybe five or six drivers," he explained.

“On a bad day, I was just driving against my teammate, when the car was not good enough on some tracks. So that for me is not the ideal of sports.”