Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he will also miss the Chinese GP due to health reasons.
In a story that seems to be getting stranger by the minute, Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein is set to miss another Grand Prix. The young German driver had withdrawn from the Australia Grand Prix shortly before its start, citing health reasons and a lack of time available to train properly for the physically demanding 2017 cars. Pascal was injured during a Race of Champions event back in January when his car flipped over a barrier. Wehrlein was replaced by Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who was tapped by Sauber at the last minute ahead of the Australian GP.
Giovinazzi impressed many with his performance around Albert Park – especially considering he had next to no time to prep for his outing. Now, it looks like Giovinazzi will have several more chances to get comfortable in Sauber’s 2017 challenger as Wehrlein confirms that he will miss the Chinese GP as well:
“For me the most important is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100 percent performance from my side as soon as possible. I will then be well-prepared for my first complete Grand Prix weekend for the Sauber F1 Team.
Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but, if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.” – Pascal Wehrlein
Wehrlein and Sauber have elected to not go into any details regarding the nature of the injury or health concerns, but it does seem off that something that was initially cleared by medical staff has turned into such a drawn-out ordeal.
Certainly, any sort of injury can hold long-standing ramifications, but Wehrlein’s situation does beg the question whether or not Sauber are taking advantage of this time to properly test out Giovinazzi for a future full-time team position.