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Wehrlein back in action in Bahrain - Wolff

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Pascal Wehrlein has not yet decided on whether or not he shall be driving in Bahrain next weekend, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the German will be back in action.

Wehrlein has pulled out of the first two races of the season to upgrade his fitness level which lacked preparation following a back injury sustained at Race of Champions late January.

While he is driving for Sauber this year, Wehrlein is still contracted to Mercedes which oversees the 22-year-old's career.

"It was a wise decision [to withdraw from the Australian race], which he had discussed with Monisha [Kaltenborn] and myself before," Wolff told 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."

Wolff revealed that the precise nature of Wehrlein's injury was a vertebrae hairline fracture.

"In the accident in Miami, Pascal sustained a compression fracture of a neck vertebrae," the Austrian said.

"He is lucky not to have hurt himself further, but he could hardly move for several weeks and had to wear a support.

"During this time, of course, he could hardly train, which is why he was simply not strong enough to drive these cars over a race distance," added Wolff.

 

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