Wehrlein takes lead of DTM championship in Austria

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Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein moved into the lead of the DTM championship on Saturday by finishing on the podium at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Wehrlein is one of Mercedes’ brightest junior talents, and currently balances his racing commitments in Germany’s premier touring car series with a reserve role at Force India.

The 20-year-old has made a strong start to the 2015 DTM season, winning at the Norisring in June to vault himself into the title battle.

At the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, Wehrlein finished second to move into the lead of the drivers’ championship after previous leader Jamie Green failed to finish.

Racing for Audi, Green had been in control of the championship after the opening two rounds of the season after winning three of the four races.

However, since finishing seventh at the Norisring, the Briton has failed to score and is now running fourth in the standings.

Wehrlein finished the race 1.7 seconds behind winner Edoardo Mortara, and was followed onto the podium by ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta.

Should the driver market free up a seat at a Mercedes-powered team such as Force India, Wehrlein could be set to step up into a full-time role in F1 for 2016.

The German driver is highly rated by Mercedes, being entrusted with testing duties for the defending constructors’ championship over the past 12 months.

However, Wehrlein will be focusing on making good on his early season form in DTM and remain in the running for the title come the end of the season.