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Wehrlein felt ‘no pain’ upon F1 return from injury with Sauber

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Pascal Wehrlein had no trouble getting back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car on Tuesday in Barcelona after missing the first pre-season test through injury.

Wehrlein sustained a neck and back injury during an accident in the Race of Champions in January, prompting doctors to advise him to sit out the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The German enjoyed his first run-out with new team Sauber on Tuesday, completing 47 laps in total, and said he felt no pain in his back despite the more physical nature of the new F1 cars.

“I’m feeling good, so very happy about today. I jumped into the car and no pain, nothing,” Wehrlein explained, as quoted by Motorsport Week.

“I was pretty happy at lunchtime and was totally fine, no issues. It’s good.

“Of course you feel tired but I don’t have pain, so it’s two separate things. I think it’s good that the back is not making any trouble or pain after a few laps, and that’s a positive about today.”

Despite losing two days’ worth of running last week, Wehrlein is confident he will be back up to speed early in the season.

“I lost two days of testing so of course in the beginning I will lack something,” Wehrlein said.

“But I will catch up quite quickly and after a few races I will be back where I should be.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”