Wehrlein remains hopeful of F1 seat in 2016

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LONDON – 2015 DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein remains hopeful of securing a seat in Formula 1 next year as speculation of a drive with Manor continues to grow.

Wehrlein became the youngest champion in DTM’s history at Hockenheim last month with Mercedes, while also balancing his commitments with a reserve role in Formula 1 for the German marque.

After completing successful tests with Mercedes and Force India over the past year, Wehrlein has since been linked with a drive at Manor for 2016.

The British backmarker team has the last two remaining seats on the 2016 grid, and has also recently signed a power unit deal with Mercedes for 2016.

Speaking at the Race of Champions on Friday in London, Wehrlein remained coy about his chances, but remains hopeful of making it onto the grid.

“Not yet,” he said when asked if there was news on his future. “I would like to drive Formula 1, that’s my target, but it’s not so easy at the moment.

“But nothing to talk about, so no news. I hope that I will get the drive in Formula 1, but at the moment I can’t say anything.”

Wehrlein lost out in the quarter-finals of Saturday’s Race of Champions Nations Cup in London, racing for Team Young Stars alongside Lotus F1 test driver Jolyon Palmer.

Wehrlein won both of his first round races against Romain Grosjean and Olympic cycling legend Chris Hoy, but his defeat to Andy Priaulx saw the Young Stars team drop out at the hands of eventual winners Team England.

Wehrlein returns to the Race of Champions on Saturday to compete for individual honors, facing Priaulx once again in the first round.