Wehrlein: Lack of experience cost me a Mercedes drive

Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed a lack of experience hampered his chances of being selected to replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes for the 2017 Formula One season. Part of Mercedes' young driver programme, the 22-year-old Wehrlein was considered a contender to team up with Lewis Hamilton when Rosberg shockingly retired after claiming his maiden world title.

However, F1's dominant force for the last three years opted to bring in Valtteri Bottas from Williams, with Wehrlein instead earning a race seat with Sauber, having competed with Manor last season.

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Explaining the conversation he had with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, Wehrlein was quoted by Autosport as saying: "One year of experience is not enough. That is what he said.

"I think Mercedes wants to have a perfect driver, who is at his limit.

"At the moment I am not on my limit where I could be, because of the [lack of] experience and that is quite clear."

Wehrlein nevertheless acknowledged that he would have jumped at the opportunity to drive for Mercedes, even at this early stage of his career.

"If the chance is there, you have to take it," he added.

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