Wehrlein slams reports Sauber deal is signed

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Pascal Wehrlein has slammed reports that he has signed to drive for Sauber in 2017, insisting talks are still taking place over his future.

A report in German media claimed Wehrlein's move to Sauber was complete, with the Mercedes youngster set to leave Manor to join the Swiss team. While he told F1i talks have been taking place, Wehrlein strongly denied a deal had been agreed on Friday evening.

Asked about the report he had signed for Sauber, Wehrlein replied: “Yeah, it’s not true.

“There’s no news. There’s still talks and discussions going on and of course with both teams because they are the only teams with a seat left for next year. Many people asked me today about if it’s true that I signed and no, it’s not true.

"It’s not good that people write something like that when it’s not true. If it would be true we would confirm that.”

Focusing on his running on Friday, Wehrlein was actually buoyed to have beaten both Saubers in FP2 but acknowledges Manor needs special circumstances to score points in the race.

“[Friday was] quite positive. In terms of car performance I think we found a few set-up items which helped and one we did I wasn’t really happy about but otherwise we found two things which were clearly quicker and that’s something positive.

"We finished ahead of Sauber in FP2 which is great considering this track shouldn’t be our track. So going into tomorrow I’m optimistic. If we can improve the car just a little bit more would be great and then we will try our best.”

When it was put to Wehrlein that just beating Sauber is no longer enough for Manor, the German replied: "Yeah but it’s always like that.

"Our own pace is not in the top ten so definitely always in the race something needs to happen and a few guys in front need to have a problem with their car. With a safety car maybe we can be in the right place. We are not in the top ten but we need to make sure we are in front of Sauber and then in case something happens we are in the position to score more points than them."

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