Sauber Confirms Antonio Giovinazzi as Replacement for Pascal Werhlein

Ever since Pascal Wehrlein sustained his injury during the Race of Champions, his participation in the test has been made speculative – until now.

It’s official. Sauber will be replacing Pascal Wehrlein with Antonio Giovinazzi as the team’s test driver during the test outing the team has scheduled in Barcelona. After Werhlein sustained an injury during his car’s flip over the barrier, his participation was surrounded in speculation. After being initially cleared by medical crew, the unfolding weeks would see him advised by his physician’s to opt out of the first round of testing.

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Sauber has confirmed that they have tapped the new Ferrari test driver Antonio Giovinazzi to take Pascal’s seat during the Barcelona F1 test. The young Italian has already had a great track record, finishing runner up to Pierre Gasly during the 2016 GP2 Series. It looks like Giovinazzi will have even more time to get comfortable in an F1 seat before inevitably being picked up by a team in the future.

“I thank the Sauber F1 Team for making this real, and also Ferrari for allowing me to replace Pascal for test one in Barcelona.” – Antonio Giovinazzi

Conversely, this confirms that Pascal will be on the back foot from the outset. The injury he sustained doesn’t seem to be serious enough to set him back far, as Werhlein will be present in Barcelona, just unable to drive:

“It is a pity that I cannot be in the car during the first test days, but I will be in Barcelona in order to get familiar with the team’s procedures and also to follow the Sauber C36-Ferrari on track.” – Pascal Werhlein

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Werhlein’s wreck during the Race of Champions was freakish to say the least, with Pascal clipping the central foam barrier that separated him and Felipe Massa – sending him hurtling over a barrier and rolling the car.