Pascal Wehrlein says he will ask why he was passed over for the opportunity to join Sahara Force India in 2017 after it was announced the team had chosen fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon instead.
The German was tipped as the front runner to join Force India following last month's news that Nico Hulkenberg would be switching to Renault in 2017, only for Manor Racing team-mate Ocon to get the nod instead.
An evident disappointment for Wehrlein given Ocon's relative experience and his own success this year having scored points for Manor, the German says he will ask what he could have done to differently to affect the outcome.
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“Toto called me. He said that Force India chose Esteban and that is their decision. I don't know if it was the test [both tested with Force India in 2015] or if it was decided by something else. It is like that and I will ask why or what happened, or what I can improve from my side…”
With no firm deal in place, Wehrlein says he will now focus on securing a renewed deal with Manor for 2017 and is committed to building on their recent gains.
“It is not the end of the world, it is a missed opportunity, but not the end of the world. There are no other cockpits but I am happy to stay here, making progress with the team and growing with the team.
“Having results like Austria [10th place] is great and the team is doing a fantastic job and I think we can make another step next year. That is the target but at the moment I don't have a contract.
“I will try to do my best in the last races as I always have. In the last six races we have been three times in Q2, so hopefully we can keep up with that.”
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