Wehrlein’s DTM comeback: Reasons for the late decision
Pascal Wehrlein returns to the DTM in 2018 and explains why he has taken such a long time to decide:”I couldn’t imagine…”
Pascal Wehrlein returns to the DTM after a two-year trip to Formula 1. The youngest DTM-Champion of all times took a long time with his decision to return to the German touring car series. After his retirement from the Formula 1 team Sauber, the 23-year-old hoped for a royal class cockpit until the end. Because all seats are taken there and Wehrlein did not want to settle for a role as test driver, he decided to start again in the DTM with his employer Mercedes.
If only for one year, because the brand with the star will leave the German Touring Car Masters at the end of the 2018 season:”First I had to realize what I wanted to do,”says Wehrlein, explaining that in addition to his programme in the DTM, one or two other programmes could be added. One of them will probably be a test driver role in the Stuttgart Formula 1 racing team, which Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already promised him.
“It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. Two weeks ago the decisive discussions took place”, said the DTM returnee. The fact that he would not compete in any races in 2018 did not appeal to the 2015 DTM champion at all,”And at the age of 23, I couldn’t imagine that,”said Wehrlein.
“The DTM has always been an option. I never let the contact to the team break off and went to the races several times. I stayed in contact with my team, the mechanics and engineers with whom I won the championship in 2015 – and also with Uli Fritz.”
That’s why it was always an option for the star driver to “let me come back”. The final decision for a DTM return home was made at a dinner together with Mercedes DTM team boss Ulrich Fritz about two weeks ago.”In the end we decided to do it together.
Wehrlein doesn’t want to drive in the DTM, just to be there. He has set himself ambitious goals: race victories. Most recently, he was at the top of the podium in Moscow in 2015. In Formula 1, his best result so far was an eighth place at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2017,”I haven’t won a race in two years, it’s really not easy,”says Wehrlein, hoping to regain the winning track in 2018.
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