Formula 1 is a cruel mistress and no-one knows this better than Pascal Wehrlein.
Pascal’s early career was a mix of single-seater and touring cars where he earned multiple poles and championships along his way.
- 2010 – 6th in ADAC Formel Masters with 4 podiums and 1 win.
- 2011 -1st in ADAC Formel Masteeres with 13 podiums and 8 wins.
- 2012 – 2nd in Formula 3 Euro Series with 11 podiums and 1 win. 4th in FIA Formula 3 Euro with 6 podiums and 1 win.
- 2013 – 14th in FIA Formula 3 Euro with 3 podiums and 1 win *he only competed in 3 races*. 22nd in DTM.
- 2014 – 8th in DTM with 2 wins and 5 podiums and also became Mercedes test driver.
- 2015 – 1st in DTM with 2 wins and 5 podiums. Mercedes and Force India test driver.
In 2016, Manor took on Mercedes backed Pascal for his rookie season. During his time at Manor, Pascal scored the only point for the team in the Austrian GP when he finished 10th. Now, 10th doesn’t seem like much of an achievement to most but to a struggling team such as Manor, that one point could have been their saving grace from their unfortunate collapse. At the end of the season, Pascal had secured 19th in the drivers standings ahead of seasoned drivers such as Esteban Gutierrez and Marcus Ericsson.
January 2017 saw Manor’s parent company announce they were going into administration forcing the team to withdraw their participation. After the announcement, Wehrlein was tipped for the vacant Force India seat but alas, it wasn’t meant to be and young Pascal instead landed a seat with Sauber.
Okay, to say that Pascal’s 2017 season got off on the wrong foot would be one of the biggest understatements of the year! A crash at Race of Champions ruled him out of the first two races of the season. The extend of his injuries were kept very hush-hush but, after lots of criticism over his decision, he released pictures of himself in a neck brace, silencing the once very vocal masses. 3 races in to his season, Pascal scored his career best finish of 8th position which earned 4 points for the struggling team. His next point scores was for a 10th place finish at Baku. Pascal’s point was the only points seen by Sauber in 2017, earning them 10th in the Constructors and Pascal 18th in the drivers standings.
Look at this through Pascal’s eyes. You’ve scored the only points for your teams for the past 2 years. You’ve been the life saver in the stormy sea, the only thing that is saving everyone else from drowning and all they do is throw you said once they’re done. We all know the reasoning behind it and it’s not based on talent. Pascal has just been another victim of a ridiculously expensive sport.
He’s outperformed his teammates time and time again, proved his worth and his talent but was since passed over. Much like Brendon Hartley, I hope his time back at DTM will do him good and show the likes of Mercedes and other teams what they are missing.
He deserves a chance at a top or middle team where he will be challenged and pushed to show his true potential. That is why Pascal is my most underrated driver. Not just to be passed over by your rookie teammate for a mid field seat and just carry on, delivering your best but to also push a back marker car into the points more than once is an achievement that few can do.
Good luck, Pascal. I wish you the world and more because you deserve it.