Pascal Wehrlein says he will ask why he was overlooked for a seat at Force India in favour of fellow Mercedes youngster Esteban Ocon.
Force India named Ocon as Sergio Perez’s new team-mate on a multi-year deal on Thursday morning, with the Frenchman having impressed since replacing Rio Harayanto at Manor during the mid-season break. However, Wehrlein has delivered a number of eye-catching performances in his debut year at Manor – including scoring the team’s only point so far in Austria – and was unhappy to miss out on the Force India seat.
“Of course, on one side I am disappointed,” Wehrlein said. “But I have said in the last weeks if I can stay with [Manor next season], it’s still the same.
“Toto [Wolff] called me. He said that Force India chose Esteban and that is their decision
“I don’t know if it was the test [Ocon did for Force India in Austria 2015] and if it was decided by something else. It is like that and I will ask why or what happened, or what can I improve from my side… otherwise with the performance on track I am quite happy.
“It is not the end of the world, it is a missed opportunity, but not the end of the world.”
Asked if the fact Mercedes is managing both him and Ocon was a disadvantage when it came to trying to get the Force India seat, Wehrlein hinted he feels he did enough to earn the drive.
“I think it is creating great opportunities. The better one would get the chance, no?
“It is like that and I can’t change that. Everything I can do is perform on track. I feel like I did it. I hear many comments and you are asking these questions, so you think something… It is like that and I can’t change it.”
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