2015 DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein will return to the German touring car series in 2018, as he continues his relationship with Mercedes after two seasons away in single-seater racing.
Wehrlein lifted the 2015 DTM title after a consistent season that saw him score points in 15 out of 18 races, even though the German only scored two victories.
That title – the youngest-ever for a DTM driver – was enough to earn Wehrlein a Formula 1 seat with Manor Racing in 2016 followed by Sauber in 2017.
The 23-year-old will return to the DTM for Mercedes’ final year as an official manufacturer, lining up alongside the earlier announced Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta, Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara.
“I’ve got some terrific memories of the DTM, not least because of my title win in 2015, but also because of the strong team spirit and the many amazing experiences I’ve had with the guys,” said Wehrlein. “I’ve followed the DTM closely during my time in Formula 1 and have even been to a couple of races to see the team and support them.
“A lot has changed in the DTM since my last race in the DTM season finale at Hockenheim back in 2015, but I like a challenge and can hardly wait to try out our new car on track for the first time. The first tests can’t come soon enough for me.”
Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM, Ulrich Fritz, reiterated the fact that the DTM has changed in such a short space of time, but he believes the three-time race winner will be able to cope.
“Pascal quickly established himself in the DTM and became the youngest-ever champion in the history of the series in 2015,” said Fritz. “Of course, everyone in the team is really pleased that he’s returning to the DTM for our final year. He made many close friends within the squad and stayed in touch even when he was driving in Formula 1.
“A lot has changed in the DTM in recent years, for sure, with new cars, new tyres and new rules, but we’re confident that he’ll soon settle back in with his experience and commitment.”
Mercedes have just one more driver to reveal to complete their 2018 DTM line-up.