Pascal Wehrlein has fulfilled his dream this year: The incumbent DTM champion made the leap to formula 1 with the Mercedes customer team Manor. However, although the German has enjoyed the support of the Stuttgarts for several years, it was not clear at all, that his path would one day lead him to the royal class. In a conversation with’Motorsport-Total.com’, the 21-year-old tells us that his change to the DTM has brought with it a great risk.
I think it is simply difficult to get back into the formal sport from a tour wagon series,”explains Wehrlein.”I think it is simply difficult to get back from a tour wagon series.” It is not the usual route, and it is also not the best way for the feeling of driving when you come out of formula sports, switch to tour cars and have to get used to it. One simply has an adjustment phase because the car behaves so differently than a formula voice.”
“And then coming back after a few years is not easy. I can see that in myself at the moment,”confesses the Formula-1-Rookie, who in the last three years has only contested test runs in formulas. Before that I drove formula 3, and this step from formula 3 to formula 1 is huge! And from the DTM to formula 1 it is once again bigger, because a tour car is simply something else.”
Without DTM no formula 1
“That is not the usual step and not so easy,”says Wehrlein. Nevertheless, he says in retrospect: “Without the DTM I would not have come to formula 1. When I drove 2012 in formula 3, we were about to decide what we wanted to do 2013. I was already connected to Mercedes and was Mercedes-Junior. This was about whether we were going to use formula 3 again or possibly switch to DTM.”
“Of course, I was not sure about that either, because at that time I knew that DTM was not the usual and perhaps not the right step to get into formula 1. But GP2 would not have been possible 2013 and 2014 anyway, because the budget was not recoverable. My dream has always been to ride for Mercedes one day. That is why it was clear to me to go towards DTM,”says Wehrlein.
“With good performance I could recommend myself for a formula-1 cockpit. The premise was that I had to become DTM champion to get the chance to switch to formula 1. Last year I managed to do it,”rejoices the 21-year-old who was able to make his dream come true.