Mercedes promotes Wehrlein to reserve driver

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.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.