Manor rookie Wehrlein underestimated F1's off-track challenges

Pascal Wehrlein admits he underestimated the off-track challenges he would face in Formula 1 in his debut season with Manor

Manor rookie Wehrlein underestimated F1's off-track challenges

The German drew plaudits for his impressive performance across 2016, which included scoring Manor's only point - and just the second points-scoring finish in its six-season history - in Austria.

Who was F1's best 2016 rookie?

His fast starts were a particular highlight while Wehrlein's qualifying form was very strong in the second half of the year, reaching Q2 four times in the final nine races.

Despite that, he was overlooked for a Force India seat in 2017, with the team opting to instead take fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon, who joined Wehrlein at Manor midway through the season.

It emerged that Wehrlein missed out for reasons not relating to his on-track performance, rather how it was believed he would have integrated with the team, and the 22-year-old says he will learn from that feedback having entered F1 from the DTM.

"I learned a lot on track but there's also a lot to learn off the track," he told Autosport.

"Probably I was underrating that.

"In terms of driving, there were so many new tracks for me, the tyres were new for me, Pirelli tyres, and a new team so there were so many things for me to learn.

"But now on track I'm 100% sure that everything is getting better and easier.

"From the first to the second year the step is always the biggest step you make in your career.

"Off the track I will try more and I'm sure I can improve something as well."

When asked if Mercedes, which has nurtured his career since 2013, can help him in that regard, Wehrlein said: "Yes.

"Mercedes is still supporting me a lot and I'm very grateful for that.

"I'm also grateful for the opportunity this year that they gave me with Manor and also the Pirelli [2017 tyre] tests.

"It's really nice to see that Mercedes has a big trust in me and supporting me and I will try to give that back."

Wehrlein is a candidate to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes next season while he is top of Sauber's shortlist, and Manor is keen to keep him.

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