Wehrlein enjoys strong test showing in spite of illness


Mercedes AMG Petronas test driver Pascal Wehrlein enjoyed another successful test for the German team in Barcelona on Wednesday despite suffering from illness that had sidelined him from Tuesday’s running.

Wehrlein had been due to test for Force India on Tuesday in Barcelona following last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, but was replaced by GP2 driver Nick Yelloly due to illness.

Despite not being 100% fit, the German driver got behind the wheel of the Mercedes W06 Hybrid car on Wednesday and put in an impressive display, finishing second in the final standings after leading for much of the day.

“Today was a really good day,” Wehrlein said on Wednesday. “I was driving this car for the second time and it’s always a pleasure – especially after yesterday, which was a big disappointment for me.

“I still don’t feel 100% but it’s much better, so luckily I’ve been able to drive. We did some long runs before lunch and I was able to get a lot of laps, which was good as I had to adapt to the car again. But I felt comfortable from the start.”

Wehrlein explained how he could notice the progress that had been made with the car since he last tested for the team during pre-season.

“The Mercedes Power Unit is unbelievable and the chassis too, with a very good balance,” he said. “I could feel it has changed a bit since I last drove it during winter testing.

“The team has clearly been working hard and developing it even further. It’s definitely a step forward and I’ve loved every minute of being behind the wheel.”

Wehrlein continues to balance his reserve duties with both Mercedes and Force India with a full season in the German DTM series, in which he finished the first race of the season in second place.