Pressure is on Wehrlein to perform

While no real targets have been set for his Formula 1 debut, Pascal Wehrlein knows that he must perform at his very best if he is to be considered by Mercedes in its future F1 plans.

Wehrlein has insisted on numerous occasions on the fact that Manor Racing provides a great opportunity for the young rookie to learn the ropes of Grand Prix racing.

But racing for the minnow is not a low pressure environment however, as Wehrlein and Mercedes know all too well.

“There’s no real target in terms of position, but for sure they [Mercedes] want me to perform well. If the team says ‘he’s an ok driver, but not great’ it’s for sure not what they want to hear. I have to perform.

“There’s always pressure. I mean you want to perform, you want to impress people and you want to get results. There has to be pressure – if there’s no pressure maybe you don’t push to the maximum. So it’s fine.”

Regardless, Wehrlein believes he is ready for the task. It’s also worth reminding that the German hopeful conducted some testing in the recent past for both Mercedes and its engine customer Force India. he’s also a worthy DTM champion.

“Of course the experience helps, but it’s also not as much as people have been saying. I’m 21 – I spent one-and-a-half years as Mercedes’ reserve driver, but in that time I did just five or six days in the car.

“And beside that I’ve done DTM, so you can count that every three months I’ve done one day in an F1 car. It’s not a lot, but for sure I have some experience.

“I know how the Mercedes behaves – or behaved in the past – and, of course, I can translate it to Manor and say what we have to change to be quicker, how it should feel.

“I’m ready, but I was also ready last year. I needed to be ready in case something happened to one of the [Mercedes] drivers.

“I would have needed to be ready to race. So I’m ready and the team is also ready – we just have to improve, find more performance, learn more about the car and be even more ready for Australia!”

2016 F1 season: Chris Medland’s team-by-team preview

TECHNICAL: A closer look at the Manor MRT05

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