Manor Racing confirmed on Wednesday that they have signed Mercedes backed Pascal Wehrlein as one of the race drivers for the 2016 Formula One season and in doing so have strengthened their ties with the Silver Arrows who will supply them with power units this year.
Manor have confirmed however that the German’s contract with the team which is worth in the region of £5-6 million to the outfit is completely independent of the Mercedes engine deal.
The 21 year German commented on his move by saying:
Manor Racing is a great place for me to start my Formula 1 racing career – I’m very pleased to be here. It’s a small and totally focused team and I soon hope to know everyone. Though it’s my first F1 season my aim is to help Stephen [Fitzpatrick, owner] and the guys achieve their goals. It will be a tough challenge, but I think we should be able to challenge for points along the way. It’s going to be good fun.
Werhlein continued by saying:
A word for my racing family at Mercedes-Benz, and particularly for Toto [Wolff], who have guided my career this far and made this opportunity possible. hanks for the incredible support to help me achieve my dream; now it’s down to me to grab the moment and perform on track.
Werhlein will retain his reserve driver role with the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team with the Brackley based outfit understood to be in a position to recall the German should a situation arise where Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg are unable to race due to illness or injury.
Manor Racing are setting themselves up nicely to be very competitive this season as not only do they have a power unit from Mercedes and access to their wind-tunnel but they have also signed a technical partnership with the Williams Martini Racing Team.