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Sauber decides to drop Pascal Wehrlein for 2018

  • Published on 31 Oct 2017 09:25
  • comments 20
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Sauber has reportedly decided to drop Pascal Wehrlein from its 2018 driver lineup. Earlier, amid rumours the Swiss team wanted to keep at least one of its existing drivers next year, it appeared it could be Marcus Ericsson that is shown the door.

But the Swede has strong ties to Sauber's new owners, and Blick newspaper now claims Ericsson is indeed definitely staying in 2018. He looks set to be joined by Monaco-born Charles Leclerc, a junior driver for Sauber's engine partner Ferrari and the new GP2 champion.

Roger Benoit, the well-connected Blick correspondent, claims the announcement of Leclerc, 20, joining Ericsson at Sauber will be made "in November". German Wehrlein's future is therefore clouded, with his Mercedes backing said to be running out and only an outside chance of a switch to Williams.

"I have no news yet on this side," the 23-year-old said last weekend in Mexico. "But there are some discussions going on for next year and I hope we can fix something soon." (GMM)

Replies (20)

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  • Leclerc is the F2 champ, GP2 no longer exists. But no surprise he's about to be promoted. Lot's of French speakers lately: Grosjean, Ocon, Gasly, now Leclerc.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 09:41
    • DChemTech

      Posts: 39

      Yeah, time to ditch one. I volunteer Grosjean; he's been around long enough, had a few decent results here and there but never excelled, and lately just devolved to a whining spinfest. I'd rather see Wehrlein do another year than Grosjean, or otherwise put Giovanazzi in that car.. really don't understand why Haas clings to this french dude.

      • + 2
      • Oct 31 2017 - 11:06
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Because he is funny on the radio 👍

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 11:52
    • DChemTech

      Posts: 39

      yeah, that's a good point :)

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 12:01
    • Grosjean had one very good year, and then nothing remarkable. The tipping point for many has been his awful attitude. I think along with Magnussen, no other driver is more hated on the grid.

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 21:35
  • Savio

    Posts: 145

    Yea Marcus is Vetter than princess Pascal

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 11:15
  • Kean

    Posts: 679

    I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record, but I've never quite understood the hype surrounding Wehrlein. Had he been kept instead of Ericsson it would have been disappointing, Ericsson has shown his quality over the last couple of races. And I think he works well with the engineers, gives solid feedback on which they can act on. Understand why they choose Leclerc, but at the same time I feel bad for Giovinazzi. Like DCHEMTECH said, ditch Grosjean and put Giovinazzi in the seat instead at Haas.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 12:54
    • Wherlein was another Jules Bianchi. Not a lot of trophy's. Barely flashes of talent. But boosted by the strong backing of a large team.

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 21:37
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    It seems like a good decision from Sauber. Wehrlein has been really underwhelming during his F1 run, sprinkled with a strong performance here and there, but mostly very pedestrian.
    Leclerc has just been on another planet in F2, so I'm excited to see what he can do in F1. Although one of his strong suits seem to be tyre management, which isn't as relevant currently in F1, but maybe that will change next year.
    It is amazing, however, how long Ericsson has been able to cling to that seat.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 16:37
    • Kean

      Posts: 679

      I'm also looking forward to what Leclerc is capable of, and he has impressed in F2. However, Vandoorne really impressed me as well in GP2 but his first year at McLaren has been rather lack luster, granted the PU has been a crapper and he's being compared to Alonso.

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 18:45
  • Savio

    Posts: 145

    Officialy,i would like to apologize for the fact that I was wrong about Marcus.. He deserves to be in F1 because he showed better pace in couple of last races. #PrincessPascalOUT

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 17:33
  • Sad to see him go. Hardly think he is a golden boy, but he has had some nice moments. Mind, as much as I think Ericsson seem like an OK guy, please swap in Rosenqvist. Yeah, its nice to have a Swede in F1 again, but at least make it a competent one.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 20:11
    • I still don't understand how Ericsson is still in Formula 1. He is indeed a very nice guy, but probably the most unimpressive driver on the grid.

      • + 0
      • Oct 31 2017 - 21:39
    • Most unimpressive? Not as sure, but he isnt champion material.

      • + 0
      • Nov 1 2017 - 04:58
  • Pascal is a solid second driver. He is no Ocon/Sainz.

    • + 0
    • Oct 31 2017 - 22:48
    • I agree. I just dont see him as potential championship material.

      • + 0
      • Nov 1 2017 - 16:41
  • nakos

    Posts: 7

    Grosjean will stay because they need to draw crowds to the French GP.

    • + 0
    • Nov 1 2017 - 12:46
    • Savio

      Posts: 145

      That's true

      • + 0
      • Nov 1 2017 - 13:36
    • DChemTech

      Posts: 39

      How about Ocon for that?

      • + 1
      • Nov 1 2017 - 14:27

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