Giovinazzi replaces Wehrlein in Barcelona


Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will have the chance to impress in Barcelona next week after Sauber confirmed he would replace Pascal Wehrlein at the first pre-season test.

Wehrlein will not drive at the Circuit de Catalunya next week as he continues to recover from a back injury sustained at the Race of Champions last month.

The 22-year-old was injured after a crash involving Felipe Massa and confirmed last week he would sit out the opening test of the 2017 season.

Giovinazzi - who finished second in the GP2 series in 2016 - will step up and drive alongside Marcus Ericsson as the Swiss team put their new car through its paces.

"I thank the Sauber F1 team for making this real, and also Ferrari for allowing me to replace Pascal for test one in Barcelona," said the Italian.

Meanwhile, Sauber will continue to assess Wehrlein before making a decision on whether he will participate in the second test in Barcelona ahead of the Australian Grand Prix next month.

"We took the decision that Pascal will not be driving in the first test in Barcelona. We will monitor his medical progress and will then decide on the next steps," said team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.