Wehrlein made a pain-free start to testing

Date published: March 8 2017

Pascal Wehrlein had a pain-free start to his pre-season testing as he put in his first laps in the Sauber C36 in Spain on Tuesday.

Wehrlein was forced to skip the opening test on doctors’ orders after injuring his back when he crashed at the Race of Champions.

Cleared to return to action at the start of the second test, he covered 47 laps of the Barcelona circuit and declared that he was pain-free.

“I’m feeling good, so I’m very happy,” said the German driver.

“I jumped into the car and had no pain, nothing, I was pretty happy at lunchtime and it was totally fine, no issues, it’s good.

“Of course, you feel tired but I don’t have pain, so it’s two separate things.

“I think it’s good that the back is not making any trouble, or pain, after a few laps and that’s a positive.”

But while his back injury kept him out of the car, it also curtailed his fitness programme with Wehrlein acknowledging that he is likely to start the season on the back foot.

He is, however, confident that he will recover soon.

“In terms of my own level, I will be back soon.

“So for sure, the first race will be quite tough. Also the second race. Because everything will be new – new team, new engine, new tyres, new regulations.

“I lost two days of testing so of course, in the beginning, I will lack something. But for sure I will catch up quite quickly and after a few races, I’ll be back where I should be.”