Pascal Wehrlein is set to miss the first pre-season test for the 2017 Formula One season due to injury.
The German suffered a neck and back injury at a crash at the Race of Champions in January which saw him roll a Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler following a collision with Felipe Massa after they had crossed the line.
Medical examinations have revealed significant injuries and Wehrlein has been advised to miss the opening test, which starts on February 27, to allow for more recovery time although this is yet to be formally announced by Sauber.
Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi is due to take Wehrlein’s place at the test, sharing driver duties with Marcus Ericsson with each driver taking two days of the test.
The GP2 runner-up first drove a Formula One car for the first time in February where he drove Ferrari’s 2015 car at Fiorano.
Sauber are currently in talks with Ferrari to have Giovinazzi as their reserve driver for the season, something that his current duties at Ferrari could stand in the way of.
It is also understood that Wehrlein will undergo further examinations ahead of the second test which starts on March 7, with Giovinazzi in the frame to stand in again.