The Sauber team were forced to make a late replacement for the still-recuperating Pascal Wehrlein after the German driver confirmed he was withdrawing from the first race of the year after two practice sessions. Wehrlein suffered a back injury in a Race of Champions crash in December, and now says: “My fitness level is not as it should be for a full race distance because of my training deficit. I explained the situation to the team yesterday evening and they decided not to take any risks. It is a pity, but the best decision for the team.”
Boss Monisha Kaltenborn added they fully supported Pascal, saying: “We have great respect for his openness and professionalism. This decision was definitely not an easy one for him and it underlines his qualities as a team player.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi will complete the rest of the weekend for the Sauber team, having previously driven for them in pre-season testing in Barcelona. He made his official, if unexpected, F1 debut in Free Practice Three.
Filed under F1Minute
References Antonio Giovinazzi, Monisha Kaltenborn, Pascal Wehrlein
Previous story Mercedes rule the roost as practice in Australia begins
Next story Daniel Ricciardo crashes out of home qualifying in Australia
365 F1 stories