German driver Pascal Wehrlein will race for Sauber this season, the Swiss-based Formula One team said on Tuesday, in a move that clears the way for Finland's Valtteri Bottas to join world champions Mercedes.

Wehrlein, 22, was the Mercedes reserve driver and raced for tail-enders Manor last year.

He and Williams driver Bottas were the leading contenders to replace Germany's world champion Nico Rosberg, who retired in December, at Mercedes.

"It is a new challenge in a new team, and I am really excited and looking forward to this new adventure. Our objective is to establish ourselves in the mid-field and to score points on a regular basis," Wehrlein said in a Sauber statement.