Ryan confirms Wehrlein is lead driver at Manor
Although just a rookie, Pascal Wehrlein has been given the lead role at Manor for the 2016 Formula 1 season.
With Mercedes’ backing, the reigning DTM champion will make his F1 debut this year for the newly Mercedes-powered backmarker team.
Wehrlein, 21, will be partnered at Manor by fellow rookie Rio Haryanto, who is bringing millions to the team in the form of Indonesian state-linked backing.
Dave Ryan, the former McLaren man who is now Manor’s racing director, told Auto Motor und Sport: “He (Wehrlein) will take the lead role with us. And I’m sure he’ll do a good job.
“Pascal is excellently prepared for formula one. He has already collected proper F1 experience at Mercedes, and his laptimes compared well to the regular drivers,” he added.
The German report said Wehrlein will debut the 2016 Manor car, also featuring a Williams gearbox and suspension, at Barcelona on Monday.
The new Manor has been spotted in the Circuit de Catalunya garages with prominent ‘Pertamina’ branding, the Indonesian state-owned oil company.
“If we are serious,” said Ryan, “championship points must be our goal.”