Pascal Wehrlein confirms back issue will keep him out of F1 test

Pascal Wehrlein flips after contact with Felipe Massa at the 2017 Race of Champion. (Photo: Alexander Trienitz/LAT Photographic)

Sauber F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he will be unable to make the first winter test for the 2017 F1 season due to a back issue.

The German driver was involved in a scary crash during the Race of Champions at Marlins Park in Miami on Saturday, Jan. 21.

While both Wehrlein and his passenger were able to walk away from their wrecked Polaris Slingshot, Wehrlein sat out the Nation’s Cup the day following doctor’s advice.

On Monday, Feb. 6, Sauber confirmed that medical examinations were still ongoing.

Then on Friday, Feb. 17, just one week ahead of the first preseason test in Barcelona, Wehrlein confirmed on Twitter that he was suffering from a back issue and will be unable to make the first winter test:

Antonio Giovinazzi, who won the GP2 championship in 2016, is expected to stand in for Wehrlein during the test.