Pascal Wehrlein maintains he is focusing on his own performance within the Manor Racing team rather than any burgeoning opportunities that may open up at the Mercedes F1 team in the future.
After winning the DTM title in 2015 with Mercedes, Wehrlein is currently competing in his rookie season of F1 with Manor and has caught the eye with some notable performances, seen by many as a 'trial' for a potential race seat at Mercedes.
Indeed, while Lewis Hamilton remains contracted to Mercedes until 2018, Nico Rosberg is yet to decide on his plans beyond 2015 and though he has publically indicated he is happy where he is, it is rumoured an interest has been stated in a Ferrari role too.
Having unexpectedly stepped in for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes during the recent Barcelona test, though Wehrlein does sense an opportunity could arise, he says he must focus on proving to the team he would be a capable replacement.
“There could be an opportunity but also in the end I cannot influence, I can only influence it with my own performance on track,” he said. “Otherwise I don't think about it because it distracts you if you think too much about things you cannot influence.”
However, Wehrlein admits it would likely take either of Hamilton or Rosberg to leave Mercedes – rather than him directly replace one of them – for him to graduate to the factory team
“Of course after the race maybe there were some rumours and then afterwards I did the test so maybe that's way people talked about that. But at the moment they are the best drivers and they are winning the championship so why should they replace one?”