Wehrlein misses DTM’s wheel-to-wheel racing in F1

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Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein misses the wheel-to-wheel racing that he enjoyed in the DTM before his move into Formula 1 at the beginning of the season.

Wehrlein spent three years in the DTM, German’s premier touring car series, with Mercedes, becoming its youngest ever champion in 2015 at the age of 21.

The title victory was enough to secure Wehrlein a drive with Manor for the 2016 F1 season, with whom he has impressed in the first four races of the season.

However, Wehrlein misses the wheel-to-wheel element of DTM which he believes is not possible in F1.

“The fights in the DTM are really cool, proper wheel-to-wheel action with contacts,” Wehrlein said.

“You can’t do that in Formula 1. The scraps [in the DTM] were lots of good fun, really great.”

Wehrlein’s footsteps are being followed by fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon, who is racing for the marque in the DTM this year while also working on-loan as Renault’s third driver.

The German said that it will take time for Ocon to get used to driving the DTM car and fine tuning his setup, but had no doubt that he will find the switch to be no problem.

“This year, he’s in a similar situation to the one I found myself in when I joined the DTM,” Wehrlein said.

“You first have to get used to series and to the car, but there are no major problems in making the switch.

“We can all drive a racing car quickly. What makes the difference in the DTM is finding the last tenth of a second, that’s tricky. You also need experience with set-up.

“As regards to drivers, the DTM is in no way inferior to Formula 1. The top drivers in both are extremely fast and very hard to beat. Every one of them is a specialist in his field.”