THI SW A ST HEA RCHETYPAL HEROIC DRIVE ina poor car. Wehrlein unexpectedly made Q2 in F1 ’ssl owest steed, picking off Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, Lance Stroll’s Williams and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, which all should have been ahead o fb oth Wehrlein and his Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who himself qualified only 0.005 seconds behind Wehrlein.
The Mercedes junior’s performance in this race was eye-catching. He was no mere roadblock, despite being required to execute a tricky one-stop strategy to gain track position.
O fc ourse, he gained from that strategy, as others made an extra stop, and he also benefited from the first-lap collision that took out Kimi Raikkonen and
Max Verstappen. But Wehrlein held off
Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso to the finish, coming home seventh o nther oad befo rea five-second penalty was applied for entering the pits the wrong side of the entry bollard, for which the team took responsibility.
“We had good pace,” says Wehrlein. “I think in Barcelo nay ou need to bem ore than one second faster to be able t oo vertake someone. Sainz was behind me fo r2 0 laps and trying t oo vertake, but he couldn’t because he couldn’t get close enough.”
Without that pit-entry mistake, Sauber’s best result of the seaso nw ould have been even better, but Wehrlein still executed a perfect weekend in a very difficult car.