Manor F1 driver Wehrlein leads fight for Sauber's second 2017 seat

Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein has emerged as the leading candidate for Sauber's second Formula 1 seat in 2017, Autosport understands

Manor F1 driver Wehrlein leads fight for Sauber's second 2017 seat

The Swiss team announced earlier this week that Marcus Ericsson would stay for a third season next year.

Sauber had been expected to also retain Felipe Nasr, but his main sponsor Banco do Brasil is stalling on confirming it will continue to back the Brazilian.

As a result, talks have broken down with Sauber, dropping Nasr to the bottom of the team's shortlist.

Mercedes junior Wehrlein is now firmly in the mix, as the German is able to bring funding.

It is believed Mercedes chief Toto Wolff and Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn met at Interlagos during the Brazilian GP weekend, and the topic of drivers was discussed.

Wehrlein was disappointed when Force India overlooked him in favour of Manor team-mate Esteban Ocon as Nico Hulkenberg's replacement.

While staying on at Manor remains a possibility, with the outfit keen to keep him, it is understood Sauber is considered a stronger and more-stable opportunity for Wehrlein.

Only the seat as Ericsson's team-mate and the two Manor drives remain up for grabs on the 2017 grid.

Kaltenborn said in Brazil that she hoped to have her line-up confirmed before the end of the season, but it is believed Sauber is in no rush, given the good options still on the table.

Nasr has a good relationship with Sauber - and scored its vital points in Brazil - but bringing a financial package is crucial to staying on.

Former Manor driver Rio Haryanto is also high up on Sauber's list of candidates.

A number of companies in Asia have expressed a desire to back the Indonesian, who left Manor mid-year when promised backing did not eventuate, however a final package has yet to be confirmed.

Haas refugee Esteban Gutierrez has explored options at Sauber, but there is understood to be very little chance the Mexican will secure a return to the team he raced with in 2013 and '14.

shares
comments
Zak Brown Q&A: The F1 challenge at McLaren

Previous article

Zak Brown Q&A: The F1 challenge at McLaren

Next article

Haas F1 team switched focus to 2017 car before making debut

Haas F1 team switched focus to 2017 car before making debut
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021