Antonio Giovinazzi

Giovinazzi to replace Wehrlein in Melbourne

Antonio Giovinazzi

Sauber have confirmed that Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi will replace Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of this weekend’s season-opening Grand Prix in Australia.

Wehrlein believes race on Sunday would be compromised by a lack of fitness and training, and therefore volunteered to stand down.

The German was injured in a heavy crash in January’s Race of Champions, which left him unable to train and forced him to sit out the first pre-season test of the year. Report here>>>

On that occasion Giovinazzi – runner-up in the newly rebranded F2 championship last year – was again called up to replace Wehrlein.

Giovinazzi, also test and reserve driver at Ferrari, is therefore set to be the second rookie on the grid in Melbourne, alongside Williams’ Lance Stroll.

He will be the 84th Italian to start a Grand Prix – and the first since Jarno Trulli and Tonio Liuzzi took part in the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.