Toto Wolff is expecting Pascal Wehrlein to return to racing next weekend in Bahrain after the German was forced to sit out the opening two rounds of the season in Australia and China due to fitness concerns.
Wehrlein has been replaced in the Sauber F1 Team by Antonio Giovinazzi in those events as he continues to recover from the back injury he suffered in a crash during the Race of Champions back in January.
But Wolff, the boss of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, believes the Mercedes protégé’s decision to withdraw from both events should be respected, and says that he will come back stronger, possibly as soon as in Bahrain next weekend.
“It was a wise decision [to withdraw from the Australian race], which he had discussed with Monisha [Kaltenborn] and myself before,” said Wolff to German broadcaster RTL. “We accepted and respected this decision.
“At the beginning of this week we had the same discussion once again. We could have forced Pascal to be [in China]. He would have raced, he would have suffered the jetlag and he would have moved on to Bahrain. However, this wouldn’t have been an ideal preparation.
“So we decided to give him 10 days of proper training instead to return him to the shape he needs to properly drive this car. Then he will come back in full force in Bahrain.”