Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed he will not compete in the first pre-season test session because of an injury.
Pascal Wehrlein had a spectacular accident during January’s Race of Champions and although he appeared to be ok at the time, it turns out that wasn’t quite the case.
In spite of that he underwent some medical tests over concerns that he might have sustained a neck injury in the crash. The tests actually revealed a back injury and it’s been recommended that he sit out the first test at Barcelona, which starts on the 27th of February.
I have to skip the first wintertest due to medical advice because of a BACK issue. I feel sorry for the team but we'll come back stronger!
— Pascal Wehrlein (@PWehrlein) February 17, 2017
2016 GP2 runner-up and Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will therefore take over Wehrlein’s driving duties alongside Marcus Ericsson for the first test, with both drivers set to do two days each.
It’s hoped that Wehrlein will be ok to drive in the second test (which starts on the 7th of March) but if not then Ferrari will loan Giovinazzi to them again. It’s a good job Sauber and Ferrari have such a cosy relationship, isn’t it?
It’s been a pretty frustrating off-season for Wehrlein, who probably thought he was in with a decent chance of the Mercedes seat only to find himself driving for what will probably be the slowest team again, and even then he’s having to wait for it!