Antonio Giovinazzi will stand in for Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the weekend after the German admitted he didn’t feel fit enough to do a race distance.
Ferrari third driver Giovinazzi will thus get a chance to make his F1 debut after testing for the Swiss team in Barcelona.
Ferrari proteges Giovinazzi and Charles Leclerc have both been linked with FP1 running for Sauber and Haas, with the Sauber reserve role obviously of interest to the Monagasque driver given the potential problems for Wehrlein.
Wehrlein said: “My fitness level is not as it should be for a full race distance because of my training deficit. I explained the situation to the team yesterday evening. Therefore, the Sauber F1 Team has decided not to take any risks. It is a pity, but the best decision for the team.”
Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn added: “We have great respect of Pascal’s openness and professionalism. This decision was definitely not an easy one for him, it underlines his qualities as a team player. The focus is now on his fitness level, and in such a situation we do not take any unnecessary risks. Pascal will be in China as planned.”