Chinese Grand Prix: Antonio Giovinazzi replaces Pascal Wehrlein for second race

Pascal Wehrlein
Pascal Wehrlein contested 21 races for Manor in 2016
Chinese Grand Prix on the BBC
Dates: 7-9 Apr Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
Coverage: Practice and qualifying on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; race on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text commentary, leaderboard and imagery on BBC Sport website and app.

Antonio Giovinazzi will again race for Sauber in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix as the replacement for Pascal Wehrlein.

Italian Giovinazzi replaced Wehrlein for the season-opener in Australia after the 22-year-old German withdrew because of a lack of fitness following a back injury.

Giovinazzi, 23, finished 12th in Melbourne on his grand prix debut.

Wehrlein hopes to be fit for the third race of the championship in Bahrain or the following race in Russia.

"For me the most important is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100% performance from my side as soon as possible," said Wehrlein.

"I will then be well-prepared for my first complete grand prix weekend for Sauber."

Wehrlein, a Mercedes protege who was in the running to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg at the factory team before losing out to Valtteri Bottas, injured his back in a crash at the Race of Champions in Miami in January.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has backed Wehrlein to "come back strong".

"I feel for Pascal, because he has had all the bad luck," said Wolff.

"I'm impressed with the maturity he has shown to inform Sauber that he wouldn't be able to perform at the level required in Melbourne.

"That took courage and selflessness, which I know earned him a lot of credit within the team."

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