The Sauber F1 Team have today confirmed that driver Pascal Wehrlein will participate in the second week of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, which begins on March 7.
The German had been side-lined following a big crash at the Race of Champions back in January, which saw the 22-year-old lose control of his three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot machine when competing against Felipe Massa in one of the head-to-head events in Miami.
Wehrlein and his passenger appeared to walk away unhurt following the dramatic flip, but the German later pulled out of the remainder of the competition following advice from doctors.
In the days following the event, Wehrlein was diagnosed with a back injury and underwent further medical tests before being told he needed time to recover before he would be signed off as fit to drive.
That meant the German was unable to take part in last week’s test in Barcelona, which is definitely not the way he would have been dreaming of starting the new season.
During that downtime, Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi got behind the wheel of the C36, putting in a solid performance that left many people wondering whether the Italian would be taking Wehrlein’s seat for good, with little news forthcoming on the German.
Sauber confirmed on Monday however, that Wehrlein had now been given the green light to return to racing, and would be back on track for F1 testing on day one of the second test. Good news indeed for the German who had been working hard to get himself fit for a return.
Having lost at least two days running on many of his rivals already, Wehrlein will need to use the track time wisely, to ensure he feels comfortable with the new machine. Giovinazzi will remain on standby, should Wehrlein have any reoccurrence of his back problem whilst driving the C36 for the first time.