It will be "weeks" before Manor is ready to announce its drivers for 2016. That is the claim of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who is privy to the British backmarker's apparent timescale because of his negotiations over the future of Pascal Wehrlein.
German Wehrlein, 21, is waiting patiently for news but says he is also open to defending his title in DTM or even switching to GP2, following a recent test in Abu Dhabi. "Of course it would be nice if I could drive in F1," the 2015 Mercedes reserve is quoted by Sueddeutsche newspaper, "but it is not in my hands."
Manor is now the last F1 team whose driver plans for 2016 are completely unclear, with Will Stevens, Alexander Rossi and Indonesian GP2 driver Rio Haryanto all also in the running. "In four or five weeks we should have clarity," Wolff is quoted by SID news agency. "The situation is that we want to have the right cockpit for him. Pascal has what it takes to succeed in formula one, but everything needs to be right as well."
He is referring to what he calls the "financial reality" of the talks, with Manor understood to be charging as much as EUR 15 million per Mercedes-powered seat for 2016. "If it doesn't work out and Pascal stays in DTM, then we would give him many kilometres in our formula one cars," Wolff promised. Wehrlein added: "If it does not work for next year, then I'm very happy to go back to DTM and try again for 2017." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing