Pascal Wehrlein gets Sauber F1 race seat for 2017 season ending Mercedes speculation

He spent the 2016 season at Manor

Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, Manor, Formula 1

Manor Racing Pascal Wehrlein during practice three at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. Picture by David Davies PA Archive/PA Images

German driver Pascal Wehrlein has joined Sauber for the 2017 Formula 1 season.

He was rumoured to be a potential replacement at Mercedes for 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, who surprisingly retired at the end of last season.

It appears increasingly likely that Williams' Valtteri Bottas will instead partner three time champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Wehrlein drove for financially troubled Manor last year.

As a result, he picked up just one championship point for the outfit which left him 19th in the Driver's standings for 2016. 

That point came thanks to a 10th place finish at the Austrian Grand Prix.

It was the only point Manor won during 2016.

In a statement welcoming their new addition, the Sauber F1 team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: "We are very pleased to confirm Pascal Wehrlein as our second race driver for the 2017 Formula One World Championship. Pascal has shown his talent throughout his career – in single seater racing as well as in the DTM. Last year in his rookie Formula One season, he proved his potential by scoring one point in the Austrian GP in Spielberg. There is surely more to come from Pascal, and we want to give him the chance to further grow and learn at the pinnacle of motorsport. I am confident Marcus and Pascal will form a solid combination for 2017."