Sauber F1 team has officially confirmed the fact that Antonio Giovinazzi will once again replace Pascal Wehrlein, as the Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver will be taking over the German’s seat for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled to take place at the end of this week.
German driver Pascal Wehrlein suffered a back injury during the Race of Champions, which took place in January and as a result did not receive the doctor’s permission to take part in the first two pre-season testing sessions, but returned to action during the first practice session ahead of the Australin Grand Prix. However, at the end of the practice session in Melbourne he declared himself unfit, due to his amended training regime, and decided to withdraw from the rest of the race weekend, considering that under the circumstances he would not be able to perform at the Albert Parck circuit to the best of his abilities.
Antonio Giovinazzi thus got the unexpected opportunity to make his Formula 1 debut in Australia and managed to qualify 16th in his very first race, just behind team-mate Marcus Ericsson. The young Italian driver finished the Grand Prix 12th, very close to the top ten and will now get the chance to once again race for Sauber F1 team in the Chinese Grand Prix, at the Shanghai International Circuit. Pascal Wehrlein announced that he may be back for the third Gran Prix of the season, in Bahrain, but at the same time admitted that his return to the track could come later in the season, which may give the Ferrari reserve driver other opportunities to compete in Formula One and gather experience for what could be a very promising career in the highest class of single-seat auto racing, maybe even at the wheel of a Ferrari car.