Mar.11 (GMM/ Pascal Wehrlein is confident Manor is the right place for his F1 debut.

The reigning DTM champion is stepping up with the strong backing of Mercedes, but some believe defending his title in 2016 and waiting for a better F1 seat might have been a better option for the talented German.

But Wehrlein, 21, told the German broadcaster RTL: “I believe that Manor is a very good team for me to begin with, to gain experience and get to know formula one as a driver.

“I also believe that Manor has significantly more potential now than it did in the last two years, and that is why I think it is a good step for me,” he added.

Indeed, Manor will use the title-winning Mercedes power unit this year, and has recruited several well-known names from top teams, including boss Dave Ryan and Ferrari’s Nikolas Tombazis and Pat Fry.

Still, Manor finished dead last in 2015 and was the only team that failed to score points.

“Sure, I cannot predict,” said Wehrlein. “Maybe this year we will still be behind, but I just hope that we can at least fight for some positions with the other teams.

“If that is possible then it was the right move,” he added.

So, when asked what news headline he would be happy with at the end of the year, Wehrlein smiled: “Pascal Wehrlein — extraordinary rookie season!”


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