Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Wehrlein still undergoing medical tests after crash – Sauber

2017 F1 season

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Sauber has rejected claims Pascal Wehrlein could miss the start of F1 testing due to his Race of Champions injury as “speculation”.

However they confirmed their new driver is still undergoing medical tests, understood to involve his neck, after being injured in a crash involving Felipe Massa at the Race of Champions last month.

“Current rumours about Pascal Wehrlein in the media: The medical examinations are still ongoing,” the team announced in a statement on social media on Monday. “Therefore, the reports are pure speculations. We will provide information in due time.”

The Mercedes junior driver joined Sauber from Manor at the end of last season. He had to miss the second day of the Race of Champions in Miami after making contact with Massa’s car and rolling his Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler at the end of a race. Wehrlein was carrying a passenger at the time who was uninjured.

Wehrlein’s absence from the Nations Cup competition left Sebastian Vettel as Germany’s sole representative. Vettel went on to win the tournament, confirming Germany as champions, despite having to drive all of the team’s races.

Sauber are due to launch their 2017 car, the C36, on Wednesday 22nd February. Testing begins five days after that at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The 2017 grand prix season will be the second full Formula One campaign for the 2015 DTM champion.

Get all the 2017 F1 race, test and launch dates on your mobile device using the F1 Fanatic Calendar

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Wehrlein still undergoing medical tests after crash – Sauber”

    1. After his crash he looked fine. Of course injury can reveal itself only at a latter stage, but I doubt he will mis Australia. I expect Sauber to be cautious and maybe employ one of the Ferrari junior/development/reserve/test drivers for pre-season testing. Vergne would be a perfect candidate.

      1. IIRK Vergne is no longer with Ferrari.

    2. The fact he has a neck injury is a worry because the new aerodynamic rules will mean higher G force loadings on the neck. Some sporting codes have mandatory stand down periods for certain injuries.

      1. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why they’re being especially cautious with this. They can’t be sure exactly how much more pressure will be put onto the drivers neck, hence their concern with him.

      2. @drycrust I hope it’s just that, precaution and bureaucracy.
        Pascal got up immediately the pictures don’t lie though.

        1. Pascal got up immediately the pictures don’t lie though.

          Which is about as relevant as the spelling of his surname. A couple of weeks ago I was taken off the road by a truck. In the immediate hours I felt fine but from about 6 hours afterwards until today I have suffered neck and lower back pain. All him getting up showed was that nothing was broken.

          1. Martin, even then, it is not impossible that he could have fractured something and only later found that he had injured himself more severely than first thought.

            Remember when Davidson climbed out of his Toyota TS030 at Le Mans a few years despite having fractured two of his vertebrae when he crashed out of the race? Because he climbed out, most observers initially assumed that he hadn’t been that badly injured – it was only when they received the news that he was going for x-rays that they realised that he might have been more badly injured than first thought.

    3. If he does miss Australia, who would replace him?

      1. Sauber is known for having enough drivers ready at all times.

      2. We need a laugh, Maldonado.

      3. The logical pick would be Sergey Sirotkin or Antonio Giovinazzi. Perhaps Nasr, Maldonado, or Haryanto.

    4. I still don’t understand that crash. From the video it looks like he just veered out of his lane, as if he wasn’t looking where he was going.

      1. @sandyclaws He was too busy looking at Massa coming to the finish line and drifted wide, with no time to correct then his front right tire hit the barrier. This broke the suspension and that shot him straight into Massa. There wasn’t much he could do.

      2. My hypothesis is that he forgot he was driving a two setter and placed the car considering the distance to his right tire the same as the one to his left tire. Those that have a sports car or a truck and every once in a while drive a sedan or Pizzonia would understand those mistakes.

      3. He understeered because of the design of that three-wheel car. While applying power he pretty much couldn’t turn left enough. His only other option would have been to not accelerate at all out of that corner. Several other races with the same car saw that same issue but I suppose Pascal simply pushed harder than the others.

    5. The urgency of Massa’s run seemed a bit odd when I saw the crash. Massa is a nice guy, courteous and sporting, but he really made a run for it.

      I suspect now that, from his vantage point, he probably saw Wehrlein hit the barriers with his head.

    6. An F1 driver? People should be more worried about the passenger more than Pascal tbh, looked very lucky to escape that one unhurt.

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