Vettel and Ferrari deserve 2018 title – Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein says his countryman Sebastian Vettel deserves to win the 2019 world championship.

Ferrari has announced that German Wehrlein, who also drives in Formula E, will be a Ferrari simulator driver this year.

Also in the simulator at Maranello in 2019 will be ousted Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley, even though the New Zealander’s father said recently that a Ferrari role is “not the direction we are looking in at all”.

Former Manor and Sauber driver Wehrlein is happy with his new job in red.

“It makes me extremely proud. It’s an honour for me to work for Ferrari,” he said.

Wehrlein is a friend of Vettel’s, and it has been reported that the quadruple world champion pushed for his fellow German to be appointed by Ferrari.

Wehrlein told Auto Bild: “I’ve been to Maranello and I’ve felt a mood there that I’ve never experienced before. Ferrari is just something very special.

“I will do my utmost to help Sebastian Vettel and the entire Ferrari team to win the world championship. They deserve it.”

Simulator drivers are often underestimated in F1, but Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said they are actually “extremely important”.

“They can basically be compared to the test drivers of yesterday, as testing is extremely limited today,” he said.