Wehrlein up to the challenge of double duties on day one in Barcelona


The first day of the second F1 pre-season test in Barcelona turned out to be a memorable one for 20-year-old Pascal Wehrlein.

The German driver had originally been due to test for just Force India, but also ended up completing laps for his parent team, Mercedes, after scheduled driver Lewis Hamilton came down with a fever.

In an odd anomaly on the timesheets, Wehrlein’s name appeared twice: once for Force India and once for Mercedes. His best times for both teams were just 0.160 seconds apart in eighth and ninth place, and the German was unsurprisingly delighted with his running on Thursday.

“Today was a really good day in my career,” Wehrlein said. “I was quite surprised in the morning when I got the information that I would be driving the Mercedes in the afternoon, but I am here and I want to drive, so I am ready for any opportunity.

“To drive two Formula One cars in one day was amazing, so I’m very happy. We lost a bit of time in the garage which was a shame as I would have liked to do some more laps. But the time I had I really enjoyed.”

Wehrlein has joined Force India in an unofficial test role as part of the team’s relationship with Mercedes, its engine supplier, and he will test for the team once again on Saturday in Barcelona.

“Spending the morning with Force India, also, was a great experience,” he said. “It’s a good team, everyone was really welcoming and after a few laps I felt very confident in the car.

“I will have another day with them this week so I am really looking forward to getting back out there again.”