Wehrlein ruled out of first F1 test of season due to back injury

February 17 2017, 10.45amUpdated: February 17 2017, 2.53pm
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German driver Pascal Wehrlein has been ruled out of the first Formula One test of the season following a back injury he sustained after a huge crash in Miami.

Wehrlein spectacularly rolled his car following a collision with Felipe Massa at the end-of-season Race of Champions exhibition event in January.

While the 22-year-old walked away from the incident, he has been been forced to sit out the first four-day test, which begins in Barcelona on February 27, on medical grounds.

“I have to skip the first winter test due to medical advice because of a back issue,” Wehrlein wrote on Twitter. “I feel sorry for the team but we’ll come back stronger!”

Wehrlein, a member of the Mercedes young driver academy, will race for Sauber this season after missing out on a seat alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi is tipped to replace Wehrlein in Barcelona.

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