Ahead of his maiden Formula 1 season, Pascal Wehrlein has revealed that despite there being no specific targets for him to meet, there is still pressure on him to perform.
The German has made no secret of his desire to one day race for a big team like Mercedes, having been their reserve driver for over a year already, but also added that being a part of a relatively small team like Manor also has its advantages.
“There’s no real target in terms of position, but for sure they [Mercedes] want me to perform well,” the youngster told f1i.com.
“If the team says ‘he’s an ok driver, but not great’ it’s for sure not what they want to hear. I have to perform.
“There’s always pressure. I mean you want to perform, you want to impress people and you want to get results. There has to be pressure – if there’s no pressure maybe you don’t push to the maximum. So it’s fine.
“Of course the experience helps, but it’s also not as much as people have been saying. I’m 21 – I spent one-and-a-half years as Mercedes’ reserve driver, but in that time I did just five or six days in the car.”
Wehrlein explained that being of the team environment at Mercedes will definitely help his drive at Manor as he can use the experiences he had there to benefit his new team.
“I know how the Mercedes behaves – or behaved in the past – and, of course, I can translate it to Manor and say what we have to change to be quicker, how it should feel,” the DTM Champion said.
“I’m ready, but I was also ready last year. I needed to be ready in case something happened to one of the [Mercedes] drivers.
“I would have needed to be ready to race. So I’m ready and the team is also ready – we just have to improve, find more performance, learn more about the car and be even more ready for Australia!”