Toro Rosso have missed out on one of their prime candidates to partner Daniil Kvyat in the 2019 Formula 1 season next year, as Pascal Wehrlein has spurned their advances to join Formula E outfit, Mahindra Racing, for the next campaign in the all-electric motorsport.
With Pierre Gasly being promoted to Red Bull and Brendon Hartley unlikely to be handed an extended deal, Toro Rosso remain one of the few teams yet to announce their full line-up for next year, with Kvyat the only driver confirmed so far.
Wehrlein, who previously raced in F1 with Sauber, was announced on Tuesday and cited the ambition of the team as a reasoning behind his move.
“I’m very happy to be joining Mahindra Racing,” Wehrlein said.
“I had the first meeting with Dilbagh [Gill] in the summer and met the team for the first time at a test event. It’s a small team but with really high ambitions and I have the same high ambitions.
“I want to achieve the best possible results and I have a feeling the team is the right environment for me. I’m looking forward to the season and I will give my best.”
Wehrlein will partner another former F1 driver in Jerome d'Ambrosio, and Mahindra team boss Gill believes he now has one of the most exciting duos in the sport to work with.
“I am truly thrilled to be able to announce what I believe is one of the most exciting and dynamic driver line-ups on the grid, packed full of talent." Gill said.
“We are delighted that Pascal will join the team as he begins a new racing challenge in Formula E. As a young and enthusiastic yet incredibly experienced driver, he is a valuable addition to the team.
“Having Jerome join Mahindra Racing with his years of experience and multiple wins in this championship is something we are also extremely excited about. He is very motivated to bring success to Mahindra and has already been working hard behind the scenes preparing for the season.”
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