Pascal Wehrlein says a lack of experience cost him Mercedes seat
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, March 12th 2017, 11:37 GMT|
Pascal Wehrlein was not chosen for the Mercedes F1 seat taken by Valtteri Bottas because of a lack of experience, according to the Sauber driver.
Wehrlein was one of the main candidates to replace the retiring Nico Rosberg at Mercedes for the 2017 season, with Wehrlein's career having been guided by the German car manufacturer for several years.
The 22-year-old won the DTM title with the marque in 2015 before taking a seat at the Mercedes-powered Manor team in F1 in 2016, before signing for Sauber for 2017.
But despite Rosberg's retirement delivering the perfect opportunity to try Wehrlein in a top seat, the young German says a year of experience was not enough, according to the team's executive director Toto Wolff.
"That is what he said," explained Wehrlein about the conversation he had with Wolff on the matter.
"One year of experience is not enough. It was quite clear.
"He said, 'we think it would be good for you to have more experience, one year was not enough and especially in the second year, drivers are always making big progress.'
"I think Mercedes wants to have a perfect driver, who is at his limit.
"At the moment I am not on my limit where I could be, because of the [lack of] experience and that is quite clear."
Wehrlein added that if the opportunity to drive for Mercedes was on the table, it would be a chance he couldn't refuse and that it wouldn't have been to big a step at this point in his career.
"If the chance is there, you have to take it," he said. "I think it was not too much.
"With one year of experience you are not at your limit and you will make some mistakes.
"Sometimes you will go in the wrong direction with the set-up because you are lacking the experience.
"It is something normal if you have five years of experience in F1 or even more, there will be less mistakes than with one year [of experience]."