Pascal Wehrlein is to miss the Chinese GP and thus once again the second Sauber will be driven by Antonio Giovinazzi.
The German was forced to skip the Australian GP due to fitness issues after his Race of Champions injury disrupted his training, and it had been thought that he would at least try the car on Friday in Shanghai. However, the team has already decided that he will postpone his return.
“For me the most important is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100 percent performance from my side as soon as possible,” he said. “I will then be well-prepared for my first complete Grand Prix weekend for the Sauber F1 Team. Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but, if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.”
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After Wehrlein opted out following Friday practice in Melbourne, the former Manor driver came under some criticism, but team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has defended him.
“He was very quick in telling us,” she said. “It takes a lot for a driver to say this. It was very brave and very impressive. Everyone knows him and how ambitious he is, and to come up like this takes a lot of courage and a strong personality.
“I think it speaks so much for his personality, his strength, his courage and how much he’s a team player. People who say anything else should be ashamed of themselves because probably they don’t have half the courage he has.”