Wehrlein’s debut undone by degradation

Pascal Wehrlein has revealed that tyre degradation and braking issue hampered him in the later stages of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

The Manor rookie contested his debut Formula 1 grand prix at the Melbourne circuit on Sunday, finishing 16th, last of the runners.

It was, however, a solid showing from the DTM Champion as he put in an error-free race despite suffering from tyre degradation and later brake troubles.

“First of all, it’s great to finish my first race and thanks to the team for that,” he said.

“I got a fantastic start and I was very happy to find myself in 15th place at the end of the opening lap. That first half of the race was really strong and I was pushing hard on the super-soft and then the soft. It was great to be as high as 13th at one point and to be racing with Sauber.

“Things turned for me after my first stop, which happened just before the red flag.

“Our plan was to have a short stint on the super-soft which meant we pitted for the soft not long before the crash, so that was a major setback because many of the other cars still hadn’t stopped.

“After that, everyone ahead started to pull away from me and because we were struggling with tyre degradation I couldn’t do anything about it. Towards the end, I had a braking issue, so I just had to focus on getting to the flag.

“We’ve all learned a lot this weekend and everyone is working well together, so we’ve made a good start and now we have to push hard to improve.”

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