Jack Leslie  |    |   0  |  5 December 2016

Pascal Wehrlein feels 'ready' for step up to Mercedes

Pascal Wehrlein says he feels ready for the step up to Mercedes if the reigning world champions choose him to replace the retiring Nico Rosberg.

On Friday Rosberg announced his F1 exit, just days after claiming his first world title in Abu Dhabi.

There has been intense speculation over who will get the second Mercedes seat alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Wehrlein, a Mercedes junior driver and 2016 Manor F1 racer, has been linked to the drive. He has tested for Mercedes regularly and completed a significant amount of running on the new 2017 tyres with the team.

Mercedes says it will not rush its decision and will look over all of the possible options, but Wehrlein says he feels ready for the move if he does get the seat.

“One season in F1 is not a lot but I feel ready for the job and confident,” he said after picking up his Rookie of the Year award at the Autosport Awards on Sunday night.

“I'm sure Toto [Wolff]'s phone is overheating after Friday.

“I've done most days with the 2017 tyres and I think it's very important to have that experience."

Rosberg picked up International Racing Driver of the Year at the awards, while Hamilton was named British Competition Driver of the Year.

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