Pascal Wehrlein all set for red overalls as the German joins Ferrari in a development role
But, while the likes of Ferrari were trying to compete with Mercedes, registering some fine wins at the back of an in-form Vettel, albeit unsuccessfully, a young driver was beginning to experience the rigours involved in F1 Grand Prix racing.
Wehrlein, debuted with Manor Racing at the Australian Grand Prix, then as a 22-year-old in the 2016 season. His first race was the Australian Grand Prix. He would then compete in 20 other races and emerge with a solitary point.
But in so doing, demonstrated the natural pace one would expect from a Formula 1 driver, especially at the Austrian Grand Prix and earned the faith of the fraternity. The next year, he'd score 5 points, a minuscule improvement from a rather forgettable F1 debut but with Sauber, as Manor folded.
But in so doing, drove an impressive race at the Spanish Grand Prix, an effort that was impressive since he collected a personal best of P8 which would be soon followed by a P10 at Baku, the home to the often tectonic, unpredictable Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
That said, where was he in 2018 became the subject of everyone's intrigue as the focus of everyone was fixated upon a season marked utterly sensational given Hamilton's fifth world title.
At this time, Wehrlein had been signed up as the Test driver for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Petronas. Now, right at the start of the new year, there's confirmation of what lies ahead for Pascal Wehrlein in 2019.
Slated to join the Scuderia as a Test driver, we shall now see Wehrlein in red overalls in what is understood to be a brand new development role. It's also understood that the famous Italian stable was left a little light in terms of both Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvyat, having left for Sauber and Toro Rosso, respectively.
Therefore, Wehrlein, who left the Mercedes junior programme at the end of 2018 but not before gaining valuable experience of 39 Grands Prix entries- including Manor and Sauber- can now expect to hone his craft by observing the proceedings at the Prancing Horse.