F1 2017 driver review: Pascal Wehrlein

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Pascal Wehrlein

Team: Sauber
Car No.: 94
Races: 18
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P8 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 5
Championship Position: 18th

Pascal Wehrlein may have been in with a shot at the Mercedes drive for 2017 following Nico Rosberg’s shock decision to retire, but the German youngster was ultimately lumbered with a second year at the back of the grid.

After serving his time with Manor last year, Wehrlein moved to Sauber for 2017 knowing he was set for a difficult year as the team stuck with 2016-spec Ferrari power units apparently due to chassis confidence. In reality, it was to save money.

A scary roll in the Race of Champions in January left Wehrlein with a back injury that ruled him out of the first pre-season test in Barcelona. While he returned for the second test, he immediately felt discomfort when pushing the car in opening practice in Australia, sidelining him for first two races of the year.

Wehrlein returned in Bahrain, enjoying an impressive run to 11th on debut for Sauber, but his star moment came in Barcelona. A masterful call from the Sauber pit wall led by ex-Haas strategist Ruth Buscombe vaulted Wehrlein into the points, giving him a brilliant eighth-place finish at the checkered flag.

The result would prove to be the peak of Sauber’s season. One additional point followed amid the madness of Baku, but as the rest of the lower midfield teams improved their cars and engines, Sauber struggled to keep up.

Wehrlein’s cause was not aided by a number of odd decisions in the closing races, often pitting as early as the opening lap before hoping to capitalize on drama ahead, and his failure to put Marcus Ericsson in the shade led to questions over his quality.

The strengthened partnership between Sauber and Ferrari for 2018 led to Wehrlein’s departure, with Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc taking his place. Wehrlein remains an outside bet for the sole remaining seat at Williams, but a return to DTM seems the most likely course of action.

It’s a shame for Wehrlein, for he hasn’t got a fair chance to prove his quality in F1 yet. An even greater shame is that he may never get the chance to do so.

Season High: Finishing eighth in Spain, a result far outstripping what the car was capable of.

Season Low: Missing the first two races due to a silly crash at the Race of Champions.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.