Wehrlein is 'open to offers' for 2018

Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber
© XPB 

Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has said he's a free agent after the end of the current season, and that he has no idea where he might be driving in 2018.

Asked by the official Formula 1 website whether he was completely open next year, the 22-year-old said: "At the moment, yes." Pressed further as to whether he was on the market, he confirmed: "Yes, you could say so."

"I have a contract for this season so I am only focusing on this year," he elaborated. "I cannot influence anything. Decisions are made by others and I am only here to drive - to perform as well as I can."

Wehrlein missed the first two races of the season with a bank injury. But he's since picked up five valuable constructors points for Sauber in Spain and Azerbaijan.

Last year he also picked up Manor's sole point of the year at Austria. He's hoping that this ability to pick up opportunistic points against expectations hasn't gone unnoticed in the Formula 1 paddock.

"The weekends where we score points are very, very special for us," he said. "We don’t have the car to finish in the top ten often – only if the stars are in the right place!

"We have to take the opportunity and bag the points. I am very happy that when the chance was there I was able to grab it - I want to be there when it counts.

"I think it gets noticed that I have scored points in cars that under normal circumstances don’t score points," he added.

Wehrlein has been a test and reserve driver for both Mercedes and Force India. He also won the 2015 DTM championship with the Mercedes team managed by HWA AG. But his route to an F1 seat with the marque appear to be blocked by Valtteri Bottas' recent success.

"I cannot influence such a decision," Wehrlein said when asked about his prospects of getting a seat with the reigning constructors champion.

"Worrying about things that you cannot influence is wasting your time and wasting your strength and efforts.

"Yes, Valtteri is doing a good job - and he deserves it."

Sauber are due to change to Honda engines next year, although there have been conflicting reports about whether the deal will actually go ahead. Wehrlein says he knows no more than anyone else about that.

"I have no idea what is happening next year. Of course, I have heard all these rumours as well.

"Of course I want to see Sauber do well," he added. "They have the potential and have already been in good positions in the past, and I want them to get back there.

"The team wants to do better than we are doing now or did last season," he admitted. "[At the moment] we need ‘lucky races’. It is definitely a different situation now than it has been.

"The team wants to get back to where they were around five years ago. You can physically feel this desire in the team."

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