Pascal Wehrlein is relishing the opportunity to work with new Sauber Formula 1 chief Frederic Vasseur, but feels changes implemented will only begin to bear fruit in 2018.

Ex-ART and Renault F1 chief Vasseur took over as Sauber’s new team principal last month following the departure of Monisha Kaltenborn in June, tasked with stabilising the backmarker squad.

Despite having not previously worked with Vasseur before, Wehrlein is excited to do so at Sauber, having seen the success the Frenchman has enjoyed at a number of levels through his racing career.

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“I met him a few times, I’ve known him since 2015, a bit better when he was in DTM and I was still driving there and he had a team there,” Wehrlein said.

“We never really worked together, so I’m looking forward to working with him. His results, they are outstanding, how many championships he’s won and races he’s won. I’m looking forward to working with him, and hopefully he can bring us forward.

“For this year, to see something will be quite difficult because soon the team will focus on next year. I think this year, there’s not so much more you can do.”

Vasseur’s arrival comes following suggestions of friction between factions at Sauber ahead of Kaltenborn’s departure, but Wehrlein stressed the team remains united in its bid to move up the grid and recover from a tough period.

“Of course we are not happy. I think the fact that we are not as competitive as we want to be is making us all unhappy with the situation,” Wehrlein said.

“But we are working hard to get better and to be soon in a better position to be able to score points and better results like the team did already in the past.

“We cannot be happy with the results we are achieving at the moment. No-one is in the team and everyone wants to be in a better position and is working hard for it. That’s how it should be.

“You can feel in the team that everyone wants to push and move forward.”

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