Pascal Wehrlein will make his return to racing in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Sauber has confirmed.
“We are pleased to inform that Pascal Wehrlein will be back in the car as of the Bahrain Grand Prix”, the team announced on social media.
Sauber’s new driver for 2017 has been unable to participate in the last two races due to a lack of fitness following his crash at the Race of Champions in January.
Antonio Giovinazzi has driven Wehrlein’s car in the last two event. However he crashed during the race and qualifying in China.
Giovinazzi also ran in the first pre-season test for Sauber before Wehrlein return to the car for the second. The Mercedes junior driver then entered the first round of the championship in Australia only to withdraw after the first day of running.
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend their goal was to bring Wehrlein back the first available opportunity.
“His target and our target is to have him as soon as possible in the car,” said Kaltenborn. “Ideally in the next race, but if not it will be the next one.”
“What’s clear is that he is our second driver and that’s not going to change.”
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16 comments on “Wehrlein will take his seat back in Bahrain”
11th April 2017, 15:56
Dang. I wanted to see Giovinazzi really prove what he can do in Bahrain.
Ferrari, Seb fan
11th April 2017, 16:08
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
11th April 2017, 17:55
I too would have liked to have seen Giovinazzi in more races, but … Wehrlein is the incumbent driver, so he should be given first choice to the seat.
11th April 2017, 20:28
You still might. It only mentions him being back in the car, not that he is confirmed to be racing. That means he will almost certainly be there for FP1. But it could well be that they will keep Giovanazzi close by just in case.
11th April 2017, 16:09
Not to be too contrarian, but… we’ll see.
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
11th April 2017, 16:27
What real difference can be made to fitness in 1 week at this level? And how exactly do you prove the level of fitness required to drive an F1 car for a race distance has been met this week but not last week? This is all very strange. If it was his back I could understand but ‘fitness levels?’
11th April 2017, 17:49
Shanghai and Sakhir are two very different circuits. The Shanghai layout has many fast, sweeping corners with huge lateral loads, whereas Sakhir mainly consists of long straights and slow, sharp turns which put more emphasis on longitudinal forces.
A week of training and recovery might not make a huge difference, but together with the significantly different layout, he probably felt that it was time for him to get back behind the wheel.
11th April 2017, 20:30
Since they announce that Wehrlein would not be in china, it means the difference between a couple of days of training parsed in between a lot of travel and setting up a training program for several weeks at home.
Off course we will have to see whether it was enough time (guess we will learn that on friday), but it seems they were working towards this since Australia
11th April 2017, 16:30
Perhaps the equation now reads: Money for having Giovinazzi – Rebuilding two cars a weekend = Welcome back Pascal
Evil Homer (@)
12th April 2017, 14:27
You forgot to carry the one lol
11th April 2017, 16:43
Let’s see what happens, hoping him good luck
11th April 2017, 17:13
Tough first race back to take on fitness wise, reports of 40 degrees Celsius will theoretically be much more demanding than Melbourne or Shanghai.
11th April 2017, 17:46
@offdutyrockstar It will definitely not be 40C at night.
11th April 2017, 18:02
Exactly. Last year’s temperatures were slightly above 20°C during the race (2015: about 25°C). Current weather forecast predicts rather mild temperatures for the weekend ranging between 23°C and 28°C.
While I’m certain that these temperatures can feel pretty suffocating in an F1 car, they’re far from extreme. Pretty much the same as in Melbourne, actually, with less air humidity.
12th April 2017, 14:16
Great point. Actually I completely forgot that this is a night race now
Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
11th April 2017, 21:41
I’m happy that Pascal feels he is ready to join the 2017 racing. Hope he is 100% justified in this and does as good a job as she showed he could do in the Manor.
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