Wehrlein should be praised, not criticised for Australia withdrawal – Kaltenborn

Pascal Wehrlein should be praised for his Australian Grand Prix withdrawal, according to Monisha Kaltenborn - Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG

Monisha Kaltenborn has criticised the criticism that has been aimed at Pascal Wehrlein since he withdrew from the Australian Grand Prix due to fitness concerns, believing them to be unjust.

Wehrlein participated in the opening two free practice sessions at Albert Park before being replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi, feeling that he was not fit enough to complete a race distance, but since then he has received criticism for stepping down.

Kaltenborn, the Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team, believes that the German should be praised for what he did and those who have judged him were wrong to do so.

“He just needs time,” Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com. “I think it is really awful how people think they have any sort of competence to say anything about him.

“They just have their weird views from wherever they come and have no authority at all to judge over anyone. I think it is rather appalling how people think they can judge this and they should look at themselves first.

“It takes a lot for someone so ambitious to openly admit and say, ‘Guys, in these circumstances, I cannot cover the entire race distance’.

“So one should rather appreciate that kind of openness and honesty, which is not easy to maintain with the kind of pressure these guys have.”