Bahrain Grand Prix: Pascal Wehrlein returns to drive for Sauber after injury

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Pascal Wehrlein
Pascal Wehrlein crashed during the Race of Champions event in January
Bahrian Grand Prix on the BBC
Dates: 14-16 Apr Venue: Bahrain International Circuit
Coverage: Practice, qualifying and race on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (second practice online only). Live text commentary, leaderboard and imagery on BBC Sport website and app.

Pascal Wehrlein will return for Sauber at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The team say he will be back in the car at Sakhir after missing the first two races because of a lack of fitness.

Wehrlein's winter training programme was affected by a back injury suffered in a crash in January's Race of Champions event.

The 22-year-old German drove in Friday practice at the first race in Australia but then pulled out saying he was not strong enough to race.

Wehrlein was replaced for the first two races by Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who impressed with his pace but suffered two heavy accidents in the space of two days in China last weekend.

Wehrlein's decision not to take part in Melbourne and Shanghai came despite being given medical clearance to race.

He came in for criticism because of the number of times in the past that other drivers have raced in physical adversity.

Sauber have defended him, however, with team principal Monisha Kaltenborn saying: "From a medical perspective, he was declared fine to race already at the [pre-season] tests.

"The rest is a question of his fitness to the extent that he wants to be able to deliver 100% during the entire race.

"When we came to Melbourne with Pascal, there was no indication at all that we'd end up in this situation, because Pascal, being a very ambitious driver, really wanted to drive.

"But he realised he does have a responsibility to the team and if he is not 100% fit he really needs to say that."

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