Ex-Sauber Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein says testing Mahindra’s Gen2 car changed his mind about joining Formula E.
Wehrlein had previously stated he “couldn’t even imagine” driving in FE while he was still at Sauber in F1, but the former DTM champion was signed by Mahindra as Jerome d’Ambrosio’s team-mate for the 2018/19 season after testing the car privately.
“Probably two years ago it was different. Last year I was following [FE] a bit. Sometimes you change your mind,” he told FormulaSpy.
“Once you have experienced something new, which maybe you thought that’s not for me, but after you’ve done it once you like it or not, and in my case I was quite surprised by how the car behaved and everything and how it feels.
“If you look at the level of drivers in FE now it is so high. In the future it will be a lot harder to get into this series because now we have some very good drivers here, and probably looking ahead it’s a nice place to be.”
Wehrlein also added that he was “convinced” by the team and its former driver Felix Rosenqvist, who Wehrlein was team-mates with in European Formula 3 in 2012 and 2013 with Mücke Motorsport.
Wehrlein parted way with Mercedes in September and reportedly turned down a drive with the Mercedes-affiliated HWA team for the season.
His name had also been linked to Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso seat, which Wehrlein considered as his own manager for the first time.
“I thought about all the options for next year that were available.
“When we announced that I parted ways with Mercedes obviously it was the first time I was kind of my own manager and dealing with my own interests for new contracts. That’s why I had a look at all the possible options really.”