Wehrlein replaced by Giovinazzi for Australian Grand Prix
Sauber Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein has been withdrawn from the Australian Grand Prix amid concerns about his fitness levels for the race.
The German injured his back in a crash at the Race of Champions in January and was forced to miss the first pre-season test at Barcelona as a result.
Although he completed the second test and was able to drive in Friday practice in Melbourne, he told the team on Saturday morning that he was concerned about his ability to finish the race so wanted to stand down.
He will be replaced by Ferrari's third driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
Wehrlein said: “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. Therefore, the Sauber F1 Team has decided not to take any risks. It is a pity, but the best decision for the team.”
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said she was confident that Wehrlein would be fully fit in time for the Chinese Grand Prix.
“We have great respect of Pascal’s openness and professionalism. This decision was definitely not an easy one for him, it underlines his qualities as a team player.
“The focus is now on his fitness level, and in such a situation we do not take any unnecessary risks. Pascal will be in China as planned.”
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About this article
|Location||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit|
|Drivers||Pascal Wehrlein , Antonio Giovinazzi|