Antonio Giovinazzi lands Sauber test chance as Wehrlein recovers

Photos: Antonio Giovinazzi (left; photo credit: Sauber F1 Team) will stand in for Pascal Wehrlein this week, who was injured in a crash at the Race of Champions (right; photo credit: LAT Photographic).

As expected, Italian Antonio Giovinazzi is to stand in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber for the first F1 test in Barcelona this week.

Wehrlein hurt his back in a spectacular crash at the Race of Champions in Miami, where he rolled into the barrier after contact with Felipe Massa.

He announced last week that he would not be doing the test, and it remains to be seen how long his recovery will take – or indeed if he will be fit for the Australian GP.

“We took the decision that Pascal will not be driving in the first test in Barcelona. We will monitor his medical progress and will then decide on the next steps,” said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

Giovinazzi finished second in last year’s GP2 Series and is a protégé of Ferrari, who have loaned him to Sauber for the test.