Pascal Wehrlein and George Russell will split Mercedes’ reserve driver role between them during the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Wehrlein has moved back to the DTM championship he won in 2015 for this season, after losing his Sauber seat to Ferrari protege and reigning Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc

Despite missing out on a spot on the 2018 F1 grid, Mercedes made it clear it was keen to keep the German involved in its F1 operation.

Wehrlein will miss the French and Belgian Grands Prix due to clashing DTM rounds at the Norisring and Misano, meaning fellow junior Russell will takeover Mercedes’ reserve driver duties on those weekends.

The reigning GP3 champion will be both races anyway as part of his F2 campaign with ART Grand Prix. 

Russell took part in Friday practice outings with Force India in Brazil and Abu Dhabi last year and had been linked with a reserve role at the Mercedes customer team, until it announced fellow F2 racer Nicholas Latifi would fill the position instead.