Pascal Wehrlein to miss first F1 pre-season test through injury

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Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he will miss the first collective Formula 1 pre-season test in Barcelona later this month through injury.

Wehrlein sustained a neck and back injury after rolling his car during the Race of Champions in Miami last month when he crashed after crossing the finish line at the end of a heat.

Doctors in Miami told Wehrlein to miss the second day of the event as a precaution, but the German is yet to fully recover and will now miss the first pre-season running in Barcelona, set to begin on February 27.

Wehrlein had been due to make his first public appearance for Sauber in Barcelona, having joined the team from Manor following his rookie campaign in 2016.

Sauber is yet to officially announce that Wehrlein will be missing the test, but is set to field Ferrari youngster Antonio Giovinazzi in its second car.

Giovinazzi finished second in the GP2 Series last year and enjoyed his first F1 test with a 2015-spec Ferrari earlier this month at Fiorano.

The Italian driver is likely to share the four days of running in Barcelona with full-season driver Marcus Ericsson, who returns for a third year with Sauber in 2017.

The second pre-season test in Barcelona will begin on March 7, giving Wehrlein almost three weeks to get fully fit in time to make his first appearance for Sauber.