Mercedes and Pascal Wehrlein have ended their relationship after the reserve driver for the team agreed to split away from the Mercedes junior programme. The German started his F1 career with Manor and then a move to Sauber before finding himself without a drive in 2018.
Wehrlein raced in DTM for Mercedes and F1 team boss Toto Wolff was quick to praise the young German and hoped that he would find a drive somewhere else in the future.
"Our junior programme has always been about supporting young talent and finding opportunities that are in the best interests of the drivers' careers,” said Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.
“It is not always a straight path to the top - and sometimes we have to recognise that it is the right time to end a relationship, too.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't offer Pascal a competitive drive for next year. In his best interests, we have therefore decided together with Pascal not to extend our agreement and to give him the best chance of securing an opportunity elsewhere that his talent merits.”
Wehrlein admitted that his future wasn't set and that a return to F1 was one aim for him and thanked the Mercedes team for their help in aiding his F1 career when he broke into the sport.
"My contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2018 season and we have jointly decided not to continue further together,” said Wehrlein.
“I am looking for new challenges and opportunities, and am currently talking to other teams about a cockpit for next season.
"I am very grateful for all the support Mercedes has offered me. That opened the door to Formula 1, first with Manor and then Sauber; the points I scored with both teams were huge moments. Now it's time to take the next step."