September 15, 2014

BRACKLEY, England (AP) Mercedes has promoted 19-year-old Pascal Wehrlein to reserve driver, less than a week after the German teenager got behind the wheel of a Formula One car for the first time.

Wehrlein has impressed in two seasons in DTM - a German touring-car championship - and completed more than 30 days in the Mercedes simulator this year in a virtual F1 W05 Hybrid. He drove the team's 2012 car in a test in Portugal on Thursday.

Wehrlein will be the back-up to championship rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, starting at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

Wehrlein says ''the test was simply the greatest experience I have had so far in motorsport. There weren't any nerves, which surprised me, I just felt ready for it.''

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