You are always on audition – Wehrlein
Pascal Wehrlein says he is always on audition after receiving a late call-up to test for Mercedes in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Mercedes had planned to test Esteban Ocon on the second day of in-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Frenchman having driven for Renault on the opening day. However, Wehrlein was announced as running on Wednesday morning, with Mercedes saying it was due to the need for an experienced driver to complete its test program which was unfinished on day one.
With Nico Rosberg out of contract at the end of the season, asked by F1i if he feels like he is on audition this season while at Manor, Wehrlein insists it is not specific to this year.
“You always are, you cannot relax, step back, hope or be sure of what happens next year or the next years so you always need to push, always need to push yourself and make the best out of it,” Wehrlein said.
When asked if he would feel ready to step up to a Mercedes race seat in 2017 if required, Wehrlein replied: “Yes I would be ready.”
However, Wehrlein doesn’t believe such an appearance has a major impact on his hopes of earning a seat at Mercedes.
“I don’t know. I’m pushing as hard as I can, that I can’t win a race this year is clear. You never know what happens in the future. At the moment, I just focus on my job this year, I want to learn as much as possible and get the best results out of the car.”
Explaining when he got the call to replace Ocon, Wehrlein admitted he was aware he would be driving not long after finishing running on Tuesday.
“Yeah it was around 8 o’clock, so I had to come back to the race track, do the seat fit and it was quite late yesterday. I think I left the track at 12, but I am really happy with the day, I really enjoyed the car and it felt amazing.”
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