Wehrlein did not expect Mercedes to delay Mahindra FE debut
Pascal Wehrlein says he ‘didn’t expect’ his Formula E debut to be delayed but he says he’s keen to move on as he feels that dwelling on past F1 disappointments gives him ‘negative energy’.
After two frustrating seasons in F1 with Manor and Sauber, Wehrlein was left without a race seat in 2017 before parting ways with the Mercedes junior programme at the end of last year.
Despite his exit being announced in September, Wehrlein was forced to wait for his Mahindra debut due to contractual obligations exiting his Mercedes deal, a delay the German found wasn’t expecting.
“I didn’t expect it, to be honest, because the race was middle of December, so it wasn’t really anything else to do with my whole team apart from the Christmas party, so I hoped that I could race, but in the end, it’s like that,” Wehrlein told eRacing Magazine.
“Now it’s 2019 and I don’t want to think too much anymore about it. It gives me negative energy and I don’t want it.
“I’m looking forward now to finally start [in Formula E], and I’m feeling well-prepared. I’ve been in the simulator now quite often with Mahindra, and obviously, the last test was quite a long time ago, in October, but now I’m feeling well-prepared for my first race.”
Wehrlein drove for Mahindra during the official pre-season test in Valencia but had to watch as the team drafted in former driver Felix Rosenqvist to take his place in Ad Diriyah.
Despite being a newcomer to the championship, Wehrlein says he expects to perform well in Marrakesh and will be looking to learn from his more experienced teammate Jerome d’Ambrosio.
“For sure I have expectations. I want to do as well as possible, and I know it takes a bit of time until I get used to everything, but I’m not thinking about that. I just want to perform as well as possible, and I think that we have a good car that’s what we could see in Ad Diriyah,” said Wehrlein.
“I’m learning a lot from [d’Ambrosio]. We discuss a lot about the car because I don’t have the experience to know in which direction we should go with the car in certain situations. Jerome, from his experience, can tell ‘in the past, I did that, and it was better’ or ‘we did that, and it was worse’.
“I’m relying on his experience as well until I have my own experience and so far we are working well together. We are sharing everything, all the data, all our experiences on track, and it’s going really well straight from the beginning.”
Following the news that Wehrlein is in talks over a development role with Ferrari, the German explained that he specifically targeted a Formula E drive as it gives him the flexibility to stay in touch with F1, and potentially other series.
“It is my intention [to stay involved in F1], yes,” he said.
“Nothing is confirmed yet, but I mean the good thing in Formula E is that it allows you, as well, to do something different. That was also a reason why I decided to do it.
“First of all, I think it’s a great series, but then also you can do something else, and for me, it’s a very good opportunity this year, but I cannot confirm anything [outside of Formula E] yet.”
Image Credit: Formula E
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