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Sauber launch: Wehrlein out of Sauber F1 test, Giovinazzi called up

Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein confirms he has not recovered from a back injury and will be forced to skip the opening F1 test.
Antonio Giovinazzi has been called up to drive with Sauber during the first pre-season Formula 1 test in Spain after Pascal Wehrlein was ruled out with a back injury.

Wehrlein's participation has been in doubt ever since he suffered a dramatic barrel-roll incident during the Race of Champions last month, with Sauber confirming last week he was being assessed by doctors. Though he was originally reported as suffering a neck injury, Wehrlein says he in fact has a back injury.

The German has now confirmed that he will be forced to sit out the first test, with GP2 runner-up and new Ferrari test driver Giovinazzi set to be drafted in the drive the new C36 at the Circuit de Catalunya.




Wehrlein – who switches to Sauber after a season with Manor – was hurt in a bizarre incident as he raced against F1 rival Felipe Massa in a Polaris Slingshot SLR, clipping a foam barrier as they crossed the finish line, which would take him across into his rival and topple over as it rebounded (video below).

Wehrlein's absence means Giovinazzi is set to get an unexpected opportunity to drive a 2017 specification car out of the box, two months after he joined Ferrari as its test and reserve. The highly-rated Italian has conducted a handful of tests in former specification Ferrari, but this will be his first test a 'latest' machine.

With this year's cars expected to be more physical on the drivers caution has been taken with Wehrlein as a result.

Much anticipation surrounds the launch of the C36 which will be the first of the new era of F1 car to be revealed on Monday 20th February, ahead of most rivals.






Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.09.2016 - Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
30.04.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
30.04.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
30.04.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
30.04.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
30.04.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
30.04.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
30.04.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
30.04.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
30.04.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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