With only a few seats left in Formula One for 2018, it looks like Pascal Wehrlein will miss out on a drive after Sauber have opted to drop the Mercedes young driver for Ferrari Young Driver Charles Leclerc.
Wehrlein has scored all four of Sauber’s points so far this year and has overall been quicker over the course of the year than his teammate Marcus Ericsson, yet the Swede looks set to remain in Formula 1 with the Swiss team for 2018.
It didn’t come as a massive surprise that Wehrlein was being dropped for Leclerc as earlier this year it was announced in Ferrari’s new engine deal with Sauber, that they would use Sauber as a junior team to bring up the new rising stars in the Ferrari Driver Academy. What is surprising is the fact the team have decided to retain Marcus Ericsson.
Ericsson has competed in Formula 1 since 2014 and has been beaten by his teammate each year since he entered with Caterham in 2014, and has failed to score a point since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix. It would also mean that Antonio Giovinazzi, who came runner up to Toro Rosso driver Piere Gasly in the GP2 championship in 2016, would be left without a drive for another season.
For Pascal Wehrlein there was a rumopur that Toro Rosso could sign him for 2018, however it’s looking more and more likely that Kiwi, Brendon Hartley will retain that seat that he has occupied since the United States Grand Prix. The only other real opportunity for the German would be for Mercedes to place him at Williams, despite being two years too young to be partnered alongside Lance Stroll for the Martini sponsorship to stay.
He would be up against Paul Di Resta, Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa if he was to be considered for the drive, however its looking less and less likely that Massa will be retained for next season. At the end of the day it’ll ultimately be Toto Wolff who will decide to put him wherever he best fits, and hopefully for him, it’ll be somewhere in Formula One.