Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn hopes Pascal Wehrlein can continue his development progress in F1 at the Swiss team and feels she has a potent driver duo having already confirmed Marcus Ericsson for 2017.
Sauber scraped past Manor in 2016 to secure 10th place in the F1 constructors' world championship and as a result of missing out on vital prize money Manor's operating company has been placed into administration
which left Wehrlein's future in the sport in jeopardy.
However, the factory Mercedes driver has secured a deal with Sauber for the 2017 season, joining alongside Ericsson, which was confirmed on the same day Valtteri Bottas switched to Mercedes
and Felipe Massa made a retirement U-turn back to Williams.
Kaltenborn has welcomed Wehrlein with open arms having been impressed by the German in his rookie F1 campaign last year and hopes he can continue to improve this season despite switching teams and using year-old Ferrari power units.
“We are very pleased to confirm Pascal Wehrlein as our second race driver for the 2017 Formula One World Championship,” Kaltenborn said. “Pascal has shown his talent throughout his career – in single seater racing as well as in the DTM. Last year in his rookie Formula One season, he proved his potential by scoring one point in the Austrian GP in Spielberg.
“There is surely more to come from Pascal, and we want to give him the chance to further grow and learn at the pinnacle of motorsport. I am confident Marcus and Pascal will form a solid combination for 2017.”
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With the remaining 2017 driver slots filled on the existing grid it only leaves the speculation surrounding Manor's future to be decided.
If a rescue buyout can be secured for Manor in time for the 2017 season, its driver options look limited with Esteban Gutierrez confirming a future in Formula E while Rio Haryanto has lost key sponsorship backing. Felipe Nasr and Jordan King would be potential options.
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