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Merc names teen F1 reserve driver

2014-09-16 08:04

DTM ROOKIE HEADS TO F1: Pascal Weherlein, seen here with his Mercedes-Benz DTM car, has been named a reserve driver at Mercedes F1. Image: Pascal-Wehrlein.de

LONDON, England - Mercedes Formula 1 has plucked 19-year-old Pascal Wehrlein, the youngest winner in the German Touring Car championship (DTM) yet, and handed him a reserve driver spot.

Mercedes announced the appointment after the teenager won from pole position for the automaker in a DTM race at the Lausitzring and only four days after his first test in a grand prix car.

The DTM championship has now been decided with Marco Wittmann winning for BMW with two races remaining.

Wehrlein's new F1 role means he will attend this weekend's Singapore GP and future races as a potential replacement should championship leader Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton be unable to race.

F1 SIMULATOR EXPERIENCE

Wehrlein has already worked with the team this season, completing more than 30 days in the Formula One simulator and driving more than 12000km at the wheel of the virtual F1 W05 Hybrid car.

He drove a F1 car for the first time at Portugal's Algarve circuit on September 11 when he tested the 2012 Mercedes and completed 500km.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said: "He has worked hard behind the scenes this year in our simulator, playing a very important role in our pre-race preparations.

"Aside from Nico and Lewis, he is the driver most familiar with all the procedures of our F1 W05 Hybrid and therefore the right choice for the role of reserve driver.

"Pascal has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him on board for what will be an intense conclusion to the F1 season."

Rosberg and Hamilton are in a duel of their own for the championship, with the German 22 points clear of the Briton with six races remaining.

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