Sauber F1 driver, Pascal Wehrlein is set to be sidelined for this weekend’s F1 Chinese Grand Prix.
Photo : motorsport.com
Wehrlein did not take part in the 2017 F1 season opener in Australia either. He has insisted that the reason was not the injury at the Race of Champions earlier this year, but the subsequent lack of race fitness that has followed.
This does mean that Italian rookie Antonio Giovinazzi shall continue to drive for Sauber F1 Team in China in Pascal’s absence. Gio was shoved into the car on Saturday morning for FP3 in Australia and he was spectacular throughout the weekend, bringing his Sauber home in P12. I’m really looking forward to how Gio will go having a full race weekend to himself.
Photo : Sportlobster
Talking about his extended break, Wehrlein 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.”
“I will then be well prepared for my first complete Grand Prix weekend for the Sauber F1 Team.”
Photo : Sauber F1 Team
While this is great news for Giovinazzi to make a mark in F1, we have to talk about Pascal Wehrlein.
On one hand, I think it is interesting how patient Sauber are being with this situation. When the F1 community questioned his commitment when Wehrlein sat out of the Australian GP, Sauber labelled the criticism “awful and appalling”. It also shows how physically demanding F1 is this season, which is good.
On the other hand, Pascal Wehrlein isn’t exactly Micheal Schumacher is he? Can he afford to miss races like this?
He’s still a rookie. And he’s got a flying Italian on his back. Giovinazzi gets into Q2 in China and possibly gets Sauber a point in the race. What then?
At what point is it better to try and fail rather than not try at all? Everybody knows how easily replaceable rookie drivers are in F1.
Think back to Webber racing with a broken leg, Fernando racing with a fever, or Coulthard with a cracked rib – they weren’t even rookies. With Wehrlein insisting he isn’t even injured, it is a bit weird to call it “awful and appalling” when people question Wehrlein’s commitment and motivation.
Photo : This is F1
Is there more to this story than just fitness issues or is this career suicide? Whatever it may be, I do hope Pascal Wehrlein does drive in F1 again. But for now, Gio Gio Gio!
Let me know what you think about this situation in the comments below!
– Aditya Bhat.