New Sauber F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he will have to skip 2017’s first pre-season test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya following his accident at the Race of Champions last month in Miami.
The former DTM champion suffered a scary shunt when the open-top three-wheeler in which he was competing went into the safety barriers and flipped over at Marlins Park.
Wehrlein’s participation had grown increasingly uncertain in recent weeks with Sauber addressing reports last week by tweeting that medical examinations were still ongoing.
The 22-year-old German took to his own Twitter account on Friday to announce that he will have to miss the opening group session in Spain due to a back problem.
I have to skip the first wintertest due to medical advice because of a BACK issue. I feel sorry for the team but we'll come back stronger!
— Pascal Wehrlein (@PWehrlein) 17 février 2017
Sauber has yet to communicate on Wehrlein’s replacement but it is understood that Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will get the nod.
The first pre-season test will be held from February 27 to March 2 at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.