Pascal Wehrlein says it is a “weird feeling" not being on the Formula 1 grid when drivers he beat as teammates are contesting the 2018 season. 

Wehrlein lost his Sauber seat for the upcoming campaign despite scoring the team’s only points last season. The Swiss team instead opted to retain Marcus Ericsson, while highly rated Ferrari protege and Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc was also promoted to the new Alfa Romeo-backed squad. 

The German will instead return to the DTM championship he won in 2015 with Mercedes. But Wehrlein admits he is frustrated to have missed out on an F1 drive, especially considering he outscored former Sauber and Manor teammates Ericsson and Esteban Ocon

"Of course I would like to drive Formula 1. There should also be a place for me from the performances that I have shown in the two years," he told German newspaper Südkurier.

"Now there are two former team-mates of mine (Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson) at the start that I have beaten in the past two years. That's a weird feeling. But I'm looking forward to the DTM task.”

Wehrlein will also split reserve driver duties for Mercedes with F2 driver George Russell during the 2018 season, with the reigning world champions keen to keep Wehrlein involved in its F1 operation in some capacity. 

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