NOVEMBER 24, 2016
Wehrlein not denying Sauber rumours
Pascal Wehrlein on Thursday did not deny reports he is in the running to switch to Sauber for 2017.
When asked in Abu Dhabi if he is nervous that he has arrived at the last race of the season without a firm contract for next year, the rookie German answered: "I'm pretty relaxed."
Asked if that means a decision has already been taken for 2017, Wehrlein said: "I don't know. No, you can't say that.
"There are only seats at two teams available, but there are many drivers they can choose from, including some with money."
Wehrlein, of course, is backed by Mercedes, and he said there is no deadline for the completion of any talks.
Asked whether staying at Manor or switching to Sauber would be better for him, he answered: "It's impossible to say, especially with this change in regulations."
As for whether Sauber's 2017 deal for year-old Ferrari engines will be an issue, Wehrlein said: "That would not be a problem."
What might make a difference is the funding available at Manor, amid the latest rumours that the team is in talks with a buyer.
That could be because of the millions in potential prize money Manor has lost as a result of Sauber's points finish in Brazil.
Asked if Manor can reclaim that coveted tenth place this weekend, Wehrlein said: "Many cars would have to fail.
"As for the track, the two long straights do not help us -- in our analysis, we are behind Sauber."