Wehrlein confirms back injury will keep him from first test

2017 F1 season

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Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed an injury will stop him from taking part in what would have been his first test for new team Sauber.

Wehrlein revealed the injury is to his back and not his neck as had been previously reported. The Sauber driver was injured in a crash at the Race of Champions in Miami last month.

“I have to skip the first winter test due to medical advice because of a back issue,” Wehrlein announced on social media. “I feel sorry for the team but we’ll come back stronger.”

Wehrlein joined the team at the beginning of this year having spent his first season at Manor. The Mercedes junior driver was passed over promotion to the world champions’ team in favour of Valtteri Bottas, who made his F1 debut three years before Wehrlein.

The announcement comes 27 days after Wehrlein was suffered his injuries when he rolled a Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler while competing in the Race of Champions. Wehrlein had just taken the chequered flag in a close finish with fellow F1 driver Felipe Massa when the accident occured. Wehrlein’s passenger was uninjured in the crash.

Sauber is due to reveal the first pictures of its new F1 car on January 20th.

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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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8 comments on “Wehrlein confirms back injury will keep him from first test”

  1. Not looking good.

  2. Big shame. But at least at this point it won’t involve a race

    1. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this break extended. These cars will be seriously hard work to drive. The medical staff will take zero risks when it comes to back/spinal injuries in these new high downforce cars.

      One man’s loss is another’s gain – huge opportunity for Giovanazzi, who imo, should already have a drive in F1 this year.

  3. I’ve never come back stronger from back injuries.. then again I’m no spring chicken

    1. @fletch
      Depends on the type of injury. If it’s a minor muscle-related injury that only becomes a problem under specific circumstances such as being exposed to high lateral forces for several seconds over the course of several hours, it is quite possible that he continues with a training programme that allows him to come back on the same level of physical fitness, or maybe even higher, than his team mates, who might end up slightly less fit after testing.
      The real problem is that he’ll lose valuable track time. With Sauber running the 2016-spec engine, it’s very likely that they won’t have too many reliability issues.

  4. The lesson from this is don’t go racing in the off season, it just isn’t worth the risk.

    1. You could also say “just say no! (To racing for manor gp!)

      Get well soon pascal, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got once you get out of the back markers!

  5. The good news is that we will now get Giovanazzi in an F1 car on track to compare a bit with the others.

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