Pascal Wehrlein has been sat on the sidelines since last month following an accident at the Race of Champions, which resulted in an injury to his back, but the young German looks all set to return to the driving seat at the second pre-season testing in Barcelona after making promising progress in his recovery.
Following multiple medical examinations, the injury was deemed serious enough for him to miss a filming day last week and this week’s pre-season test. But with the season opener at Melbourne now less than a month away it was advice Wehrlein could not afford to ignore.
Sauber F1 Team were forced to call upon Scuderia Ferrari reservist Antonio Giovinazzi to take his place, who coincidentally is of interest to the team in the role of reserve driver, though discussions are ongoing with Ferrari due to the conflict of duties.
Medical tests continue for Wehrlein, but with his discomfort rumoured to have considerably reduced, he is expected to be passed fit to drive at the second testing, which begins on 7 March. He is however in Barcelona this week to gain a bystander’s familiarity with Sauber’s 2017 runner, along with monitoring the C36’s performance out on track.