Following the announcement of Esteban Ocon’s move to Force India, a number of seats were confirmed which left only Manor and Sauber with vacancies. Marcus Ericsson was confirmed at Sauber last week but Felipe Nasr’s main sponsor Banco do Brasil yesterday confirmed it was ending its deal with the Brazilian in the midst of a financial crisis which is seeing it close a number of branches.
That has opened the door for Wehrlein to be linked with a move to Sauber despite it not being a Mercedes-powered team at present, and the German says his options for 2017 are clear.
“I was surprised, but in the end not too much because Manor and Sauber are the only two teams with a seat left for next year,” Wehrlein told F1i. “Of course it could be a possibility for next year but nothing is done for next year, nothing is signed. There are just these two options.”
Asked directly if there had been talks with Sauber, Wehrlein replied: “Yes.
“I have to wait and see what will be decided. Mercedes is talking for me, talking about next year and for my future. So I am waiting, I’m driving, I’m doing my best here and focusing on that. Everything else I will try not to focus on and try to do 100% here.”
However, the German says both Sauber and Manor are attractive propositions at this stage and he is unsure which would be the better team for him to race for in 2017.
“I think both could be a very good option. It’s difficult to say, next year has new regulations and everything is new so in terms of performance I don’t know where would be the better place. Both options could be interesting and nice but in the end there’s normally always one better option. Normally you don’t have two similar or equal options, so I think if there are two, Mercedes will decide which is the better one.”