Back behind the wheel of his C36 in Bahrain, Toto Wolff believes Pascal Wehrlein proved his “critics wrong” as he finished just outside the points in 11th place.
Wehrlein did not contest the opening two races of this year’s championship having injured his back at the Race of Champions.
The German came in for some stick for his decision to sit out the races with fellow drivers saying they would never give up their seats for any reason.
Despite the Bahrain event being his first full grand prix weekend of this season, Wehrlein was the better of the two Sauber drivers.
He qualified P13 before bringing his Sauber across the line in 11th place.
“I’m delighted for Pascal and for how he bounced back in Bahrain,” Wolff, the Mercedes motorsport boss, said.
“He’s still not completely pain free but, considering that fact, he had a brilliant weekend.
“He had a great qualifying and a really solid race. It’s just a matter of time until he scores his first points for Sauber. I’m very happy about that.
“He’s proven all of the critics wrong.”