Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein (pictured with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg) is set to take part in the upcoming pre-season F1 test for Force India, according to reports in the German media.
Wehrlein, 20, joined the constructors’ champions in 2014 as a reserve driver, balancing the role with his commitments in the DTM championship.
With F1 testing limited nowadays, Wehrlein’s first run in the Mercedes W05 Hybrid came at the end-of-year test in Abu Dhabi last November. However, he put in an impressive display to post the fastest time of the two-day test, beating Valtteri Bottas and Raffaele Marciello.
Wehrlein could be set to get some more F1 testing under his belt next week, with German publications F1-Insider and Motorsport Total reporting that he will conduct running for Force India in Barcelona.
F1-Insider’s report suggests that Wehrlein is being used as a makeweight by Mercedes as it has not received its payment from Force India for its power unit supply.
Force India’s recent struggles have been well documented, with the team missing the first test in Jerez completely. It will be testing in Barcelona next week, albeit with the 2014 car, before introducing the new VJM08 in the final pre-season test at the end of February.
For Wehrlein, this presents a great opportunity for him to show the onlooking F1 paddock what he can do behind the wheel of a current car, and it is unlikely to be his last test of the year.
Wehrlein will continue to race in the DTM series this year for Mercedes, having claimed his first win in the touring car championship at the Lausitzring in 2014.