Wolff encouraged by Wehrlein, Ocon F1 roles

By on Friday, February 12, 2016
GP3 Media Service

GP3 Media Service

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that proteges Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon securing Formula 1 roles on merit is a boost for the sport.

Reigning DTM champion Wehrlein, 21, has tested extensively for Mercedes and will graduate to a Formula 1 seat with Manor for the 2016 campaign.

Ocon, who claimed the GP3 title in 2015, will replace Wehrlein in Mercedes' DTM line-up and will also act as back-up to Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen at Renault.

"We're delighted that Pascal and Esteban will tackle a fresh set of challenges in 2016," said Wolff.

"Our aim is to build their experience in the best possible environment and, following positive discussions with our counterparts at Manor and Renault, it became clear that their respective Formula 1 programmes presented ideal opportunities to achieve that.

"It is very pleasing to see young drivers earning their spot in Formula One on merit and to see that talent is being rewarded by the system."

Wolff nonetheless warned that both drivers will face a steep learning curve in 2016.

"Pascal and Esteban have proven themselves to be amongst the top young drivers out there - and both come into 2016 as champions of their respective series," he explained.

"But they still have plenty to learn and they will be staying humble, with their feet on the ground.

"This is an important year for them and we will be following their progress with great interest, while also looking to expand our junior programme."

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