Giovinazzi deputised for Wehrlein in Australia after he stepped aside due to a shortfall in fitness. This follows his accident at the Race of Champions where a back injury restricted his training preparation for the F1 season. It was hoped Wehrlein would be fit to make his racing debut for Sauber in China, but confirmation came today that this has, again, been delayed.
Giovinazzi, the 2016 GP2 championship runner up, made quite an impression on his debut in the C36, finishing 12th in the race having started 16th. Had it not been for a handful of oversteer at the final chicane, he would likely have embarrassed his Swedish teammate, Marcus Ericsson, beating him to Q2.
Asked after Australia about having the chance to compete again, Giovinazzi said “Pascal is the Sauber driver and I am the third driver of Ferrari – of course if there is another chance I will grab it!”.
He will be pleased to hear then that the timescale for Wehrlein’s return is indefinite, with an estimation that he should be back in the car by Russia on April 28th – 30th.
Pascal Wehrlein had this to say “For me the most important thing is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100% performance from my side, as soon as possible. I will then be well prepared for my first complete weekend for Sauber F1 Team.” He confirmed that it may be Russia before he is able to assume his role.
This will be another chance for the Ferrari youngster to show his worth amid fierce speculation regarding, not only the seat at Sauber, but the Ferrari seats too.
- Written by Hayley Stanway