Wehrlein wants answers after missing out on 2017 Force India F1 seat

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Pascal Wehrlein is keen to learn why he lost out to fellow Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon in the race to secure a seat with Force India in Formula 1 for the 2017 season.

Wehrlein made his F1 debut at the beginning of the year with Manor, arriving at the team as part of a deal that saw Mercedes become its power unit supplier.

Wehrlein scored just the second top-10 finish in Manor’s seven-season run in F1 at the Austrian Grand Prix in July, and had been linked with a move up to Force India for 2017.

However, Force India has decided to go with Ocon, who only made his F1 debut in August with Manor and has not been a Mercedes junior for as long as Wehrlein.

Wehrlein made no secret of his disappointment when speaking to reporters in Brazil on Thursday, saying that he wanted to find out why he missed out on the seat, but is happy to remain with Manor for 2017.

“Of course, on one side I am disappointed, but I have said in the last weeks if I can stay with [Manor], it’s still the same,” Wehrlein said, as quoted by F1i.

“Toto [Wolff, Mercedes’ F1 chief] called me. He said that Force India chose Esteban and that is their decision. I don’t know if it was the test [Ocon had with Force India in 2015] and if it was decided by something else.

“I will ask why or what happened, or what can I improve from my side. Otherwise, with the performance on track, I am quite happy.

“It is not the end of the world. It is a missed opportunity, but not the end of the world.”