“In the end they chose Bottas”- Former Mercedes driver reveals the reason why he got snubbed by the World champions while replacing Nico Rosberg.
Mercedes had to do a lot of thinking before they could find a suitable candidate to replace Nico Rosberg, whilst seeing the clashes between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton after every other race the atmosphere in the dressing room turned really negative as claimed by Mercedes bosses.
Hence, they needed someone who should be without a superstar certificate but good enough to rely upon, to ensure the stability in the team to further extend their dominance.
At that time, a bright prospect in Pascal Wehrlein was being touted to become the new shining Mercedes driver, with his promising performances at Manor in 2016.
“It is difficult to describe your feelings when your dreams finally come true. I had a lot of fun. But everything goes so fast that you turn the button and only think about working with the team,” he says in a Sport1 podcast, as quoted by Speedweek.com.
After the retirement announced by Rosberg, Mercedes had to find an immediate replacement, they could have either gone with Wehrlein or have signed someone else from the paddock, and after checking onto their requirements, they went with the Finnish racer.
“At the end of 2016, a decision was made between Bottas and me. In the end, they chose Bottas. The reason was that I had only been in Formula 1 for one year.”
Still had a good time in F1
Despite the heartbreak caused by Mercedes and eventual exit from Formula 1 in the following year, he still feels that he had a good time in the sport.
“They didn’t think I was experienced enough at Mercedes. But it was a good year, I want to say. Manor had little money and resources. In spite of that, we had a good year and even scored points.”
“It was a good year, but one year of experience in Formula 1 is not a lot,” concludes Wehrlein, who nowadays drives for Porsche in Formula E.