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.