"Too early" for Wehrlein promotion - Franz Tost

Published on 22 Dec 2016 12:23

Franz Tost thinks that Pascal Wehrlein isn't ready for a drive at world champions Mercedes.

The Toro Rosso boss has seen a number of his drivers graduate to multiple champions Red Bull, leaving him in an ideal position to comment on Mercedes' driver conundrum.

Following Nico Rosberg's shock retirement, Mercedes is faced with a choice of signing Williams' Valtteri Bottas or promoting test driver Pascal Wehrlein.

But Tost feels that the young German isn't quite ready to make the step up.

"They (Mercedes) were in a very difficult situation," Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. "They have dominated but suddenly lost the world champion, and it happened too late for them to replace him with a top driver because of all the contracts."

"Pascal is a great backup driver, but we are talking about the champion team," he said. "Pascal may be able to fight for victory, but it's too early for him. I've always said that it takes three years for a driver to get comfortable in Formula One."

"Of course, Hamilton-Wehrlein was the easiest option for them, but they are fighting for the constructors' championship and a lot of money is at stake.

"And it's also not clear if that driver composition would have a bad influence on the stability of the team," Tost added.

It is understood that Lewis Hamilton vetoed the idea of having Wehrlein as team mate.

Replies (6)
SE calle.itw 22 Dec 2016 13:050
Posts: 2545
He has proven quite capable at Manor with one of the worst cars on the grid, Im sure he'd be able in a Mercedes car. A bit curious why HamHam would veto this.
NL mclarenfan1968 23 Dec 2016 06:530
Posts: 945
Isn't it obvious? He is scared. Both him and Nico are just NOT on Alonso, Vettel levels, Lewis was ok with a known quantity like Nico. Honestly Pascal is nothing but hot air hype, nothing really special so far apart from one race in special circumstances. He didn't blow Haryanto away. But anyone can always wonder what IF Pascal had a better car. The same can be said of any back-marker team's drivers, what IF they had a top running car, of course we know the results will be better, naturally.

Outwardly Hamilton has been bragging about how anyone can come to Merc and that he would "respect" it, that's all just dress work for the PR. This veto just shows he is having sleepless nights about who might take that seat. Imagine if someone like Ricciardo was in the frame for that seat. Butthurtboy would be packing his bags by now. He has enough to worry about already in the form of Bottas who my bet is that would be exactly on Nico's level. Nico has been too soft, Bottas isn't. I don't have to explain what that means *evil smirk*
US rastaman44 26 Dec 2016 21:250
Posts: 9
Hamilton wants to win the WCC for Mercedes along with his 4th WDC. With Wehrlein as a teammate, the WCC for Mercedes is a long shot and Hamilton would have no one to keep Ricardo and Verstappen honest. End of story.
NL mclarenfan1968 27 Dec 2016 01:550
Posts: 945
Buthurtboy cant keep either of them honest if Redbull has a car that is just 90% as good as the Merc. Honest, End of story. Turdboy is overrated and it has been proven with Nico beating him fair and square as both are not on Alonso/Vettel level, probably not even on the RBR driver levels. The press spinning stories up to keep Hamilton's stock high isn't working. You need real skill to keep the BS down low and real stock high.
Posts: 389
Not sure about him. He did not blow Harianto away, same against Ocon. Some good moment though. I'd agree with Tost
NL mclarenfan1968 23 Dec 2016 06:25+1
Posts: 945
Hype boy Max didn't blow anyone way either at Toro Rosso but he got the node for the top team because of hype. There is hype around Pascal but Merc aren't Redbull, they follow typical corporate policies which means always seeking a minimum guarantee option like Bottas.

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