Giovinazzi in at Sauber for China; Wehrlein still sidelined

I won’t speculate as to why Pascal Wehrlein isn’t able to join the grid for Sauber at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix but suffice it to say, there are many in the press who are asking all the right questions and seemingly perplexed by the concept of a young man of his age incapable of handling the current F1 car. There seems to be more to this story than that. 

Pascal said:

“For me the most important [thing] is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100% performance from my side as soon as possible,” Wehrlein said.

“I will then be well-prepared for my first complete grand prix weekend for the Sauber F1 team.

“Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but, if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.”

Once again, Antonio Giovinazzi will take the reigns and to be honest, there are probably a lot of folks happy about that as the young Ferrari driver did a masterful job on his debut in Australia two weeks ago. 

I’ve no idea what the issue is but there are some who feel we may not see him until Russia or even Spain. I’m having a hard time imagining these cars are that much different than last year’s versions that a young man couldn’t cope and it makes me wonder if money isn’t at the end of this rainbow and if it is, I find it highly insulting to perpetuate a story based on the fitness level of a driver. 

I hope, for everyone’s sake, that it is just fitness levels and that he’s simply way behind on his physical fitness. At this point, that’s what the team and driver say so I’ll take their word for it. 

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Max Johnson

Lot’s of pressure from Ferrari.

Tom Firth

I don’t know, I doubt Toto or Niki ever have truly seen Pascal as being the replacement for an outgoing multiple world champion should he ever chose to move on. He’s good, sure, but that good, hmm? I do think they’ll support his career but more like how Mercedes supported Di Resta’s career for a while, and not as a future leader of their flagship F1 team. It would be a shame if his career ended this prematurely though, even if Mercedes have no great use for Wehrlein in the far longer term, he was easily capable of forging a… Read more »


I don’t think that will be pressure by Ferrari (also cause with the China GP Giovinazzi wouldn’t be able to make tests with Ferrari, taking at his 2nd GP the “Young Driver” status). I (and maybe Mercs) start to think that Wherlein isn’t so fast as rumors said, Mercs preferred Ocon in Force India and Bottas in Mercs, don’t talking about that a german friend of mine said me that he is quite happy to see Giovinazzi on a Sauber, cause everybody know that Wherlein is overrated, and he won the DTM championship to years ago only thanks to Team… Read more »


I can only assume that Wehrlein’s Race of Champions injury was far worse than first thought. This may be enough to end his F1 career, especially if Giovinazzi continues to perform as he did in Australia.

Salvu Borg

If its a medical issue it can only be concluded that it’s fairly serious for a driver to miss three consecutive races, to which must be added at the coming Sochi race that the ROC accident would have been 98 days ago than.
To me personally what’s dancing up in my mind is “a political battle” with the totonator having meet his match, could even be with internal Mercedes help.

Zachary Noepe

I think these are both such neat racers, and it reminds me of when Sauber nicked Manor’s point advantage late last season – you wish they could both get the luck. All the best to both.