MAY 18, 2016
Wehrlein replaces Ocon in Mercedes test
Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein got back to work at the Barcelona test on Wednesday.
But the German was no longer driving a Manor!
Still with his Manor-branded helmet, the young German rolled out of Mercedes' garage at the wheel of the championship-leading silver car.
Actually, it was scheduled that Esteban Ocon, another Mercedes-linked driver, would be at the wheel of the W07 on Wednesday.
"This rather talented young chap gets his hands on the (car) during Wednesday's F1 testing session!" Mercedes has declared as recently as Monday.
Then came the change of plans.
Speed Week, a specialist German publication, wonders if Mercedes baulked at the last minute at the idea that using Ocon might be contrary to the team's interests.
That is because Mercedes has loaned the 19-year-old to Renault this year, where he is reserve driver. Indeed, Ocon drove the yellow car in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Dr Helmut Marko said last week in Barcelona that another advantage of Max Verstappen's move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull was the inevitable flow of information.
"Now we will know much more about the Ferrari engine," he had said, referring to the fact that Toro Rosso uses 2015-spec Ferrari power versus Red Bull's Tag-Heuer branded Renault units.