It is being reported that Pascal Wehrlein will be unable to run during first test taking place at Barcelona, 27-29 February.
Although it is yet to be confirmed, the German is thought to be still recovering from injuries sustained during the Race of Champions last month, and has stepped aside following the advice of medical professionals. Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver Antonio Giovinazzi is expected to take the seat.
It is hoped that the extra recovery time will ensure Wehrlein is medically fit to complete the second round of testing that begins 7 March.
Discussions have already been taking place between Sauber F1 Team and Ferrari, with Sauber interested in appointing Giovinazzi as their reserve driver. But his Ferrari duties are making the position difficult to arrange. Ferrari have however agreed for the Italian to run during first test, and it is thought the agreement extends to the second test should he be required; he will share the four days with Marcus Ericsson, with both drivers completing two days each.
Giovinazzi only drove a F1 car for the first time earlier this month, making the opportunity both a blessing and a test of mettle.