Firstly, welcome back Pascal, good to see you back in the paddock

Pascal Wehrlein
Thank you very much!
Is this definitely the comeback?

Pascal Wehrlein
Definitely - 100%! [laughs]
We decided not to do China one week before China to focus another week on the intense training. I think I will be fine because I have good reference points from last year and from the beginning of the season. I can really tell you that the last few days and weeks have been unbelievable. I am really happy with the outcome.
We haven't heard much from you since Australia, can you just explain what has been going on since then in your words?

Pascal Wehrlein
I didn't turn up in Australia and think all of a sudden it was a big surprise for me that I couldn't drive. With the injury I had, I wasn't sure from the beginning if I could do the race. With the injury I had I couldn't do anything for 5 weeks. I just got cleared for the second test for the doctors and never did more than 10 laps in a row. I felt that I have lost some muscles and strength but I was really happy after Barcelona as well... I wasn't sure I could do it but I was quite positive, then in Melbourne I just had to be honest and open with the team. Everyone knew in the team it could happen that might not drive and that is what I decided Friday evening. There is no point to risk another injury because I was just fine again. If I crashed the car after I broke 3 vertebra, it is not a nice thing. If you are not fit, not ready, if you feel tired or not possible, then the risk is quite high.
Which 3 vertebra?

Pascal Wehrlein
Thoracic. So just below the neck. You don't want lasting damage there.
( thoracic vertebrae compose the middle segment of the vertebral column)
How did it feel?

Pascal Wehrlein
The first few days and weeks it is quite painful. I have never broken a bone before so I didn't know how painful it should be. Then I was restricted in everything. I couldn't do training, I always had to lay flat. You know how quick it [fitness] goes if you aren't able to do anything... The positive thing is it comes back quite quickly too because the muscles are there already and they remember how it was before. Melbourne and Barcelona was just not good enough to do the race. Maybe China would have been possible but we wanted to be sure to focus on training and be back in Bahrain.
Did you have to step up your training since Australia?

Pascal Wehrlein
If I had done it normally it would have taken me more time to come back so the programme I did was much more intense. Every day 5 or 6 hours of sport - strength training, cardio training, static strength training... quite a lot and quite hard
Do you feel better off for it?

Pascal Wehrlein
Definitely. I am better than where I was at the end of last year but you have to be better this year because the cars are more physical to drive
Could you have driven last year's car as you were?

Pascal Wehrlein
No, it was too serious so I just wasn't strong enough for this car. If I felt pain I would feel a pain for a longer time sometimes... it is normal. In those cars it is easier to feel some pain!


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