Skip to main content

F1: Wehrlein Misses Out In China, Giovinazzi To Pilot Sauber Once More

Mercedes protogé Pascal Wehrlein isn't having the greatest of years. Having suffered this clumsy accident in the Race of Champions, he was prevented from training thanks to an injury to his back. Consequently he also missed the first round of pre-season testing with his Sauber team.

Although he did take part in the second round of testing - completing close to two hundred laps in the process, Wehrlein's training regime had been disrupted and, after taking part in the two free practice sessions on the Friday of the Australian Grand Prix, he reportedly told Sauber that he wasn't fit enough to cope with the demands of a full race.

Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi deputised and acquitted himself admirably, eventually running to a comfortable twelfth place, having qualified just behind the team's lead driver Marcus Ericsson.

Aside from the big hitters, it was Giovinazzi who impressed most with his efforts in Melbourne. Jumping into the car in Free Practice 3 he quickly found a groove and got progressively quicker as the session progressed. Having had under an hour in the car on the Albert Park circuit his qualifying efforts were eye-opening.

On Sunday Giovinazzi drove a controlled but strong debut Grand Prix. Next Sunday he'll get the opportunity to go again, as Wehrlein has ruled himself out of the Chinese Grand Prix too.

With the Bahraini race just one week later an interesting question arises. Wehrlein is unlikely to be fit to race, however were Giovinazzi to take part he would be ruled out of the in-season testing, where he would be expected to drive for Ferrari. FIA rules preclude any driver with more than two Grand Prix starts taking part.

If Giovinazzi is performing well, will Ferrari be looking to secure him a seat at Sauber for the rest of the season? Possibly with a view to getting a year's worth of racing experience under his belt before replacing Kimi Raikkonen?

This would be a blow to Wehrlein, but more so to Mercedes, who are clearly looking at Wehrlein as an option for 2018. A year on the sidelines would not help achieve that particular target.

Having won the Sauber seat on merit, it looks entirely possible that Wehrlein could lose it again for exactly the same reason.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.