Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn who is the first female team CEO in F1 history has stepped up in defense of his team driver Pascal Wehrlein when the young driver pulled himself out of the Australian Grand Prix due to fitness reason and then had been criticized heavily by former drivers and other critics. The critics shouted that Wehrlein should have battled the race through his pain and should not have pulled himself out. Monisha Kaltenborn has labelled this criticism as “awful” and “appalling”.
The 22 years old German driver who was under contract for team Sauber withdrawn himself of last weekend’s Melbourne GP after struggling in Friday’s two practice sessions Albert Park Circuit and told his Swiss team that he is not fit enough to drive in the first race in Melbourne. Ferrari’s test driver Antonio Giovinazzi was made the replacement of Wehrlein for the remaining races of Saturday and Sunday.
Wehrlein experienced a horrible accident at the Race of Champions Exhibition in January this year in which he spectacularly crashed into a concrete bar and injured his back that ruled him out of the first Pre-season winter testing which held in Barcelona in last February.
After the struggle in Friday’s two practice sessions, Wehrlein decided not to take part in the Melbourne race because he did not consider himself fit enough to cover the full distance of the race and willed to give his seat to the Italian Antonio Giovinazzi so that Giovinazzi might give Sauber a chance to finish with some points. In a team statement he said that his fitness level is not that high, like it should be for a full race distance because of his deficiency of enough training.
Wehrlein thinks he is not at the best position to do a whole race without distraction. His back is fine right now, but this stepping down is a procedure to gain full fitness as he will try to catch up in the next races.
The injury happened nine weeks ago and since then he could not train hardly to fulfill the training demand. He feels the whole race completion wouldn’t be possible by him. He said that he was constantly losing concentration after a few laps, and if someone loses focus during the race in the track then it will be a matter of high risk.
This decision of withdrawing his name from the Grand Prix has drawn some criticisms. One of the big critics is former Grand Prix winner Mark Webber. Mark Webber seems disturbed with Wehrlein’s soft attitude.
The 2015 Formula 1 champion said that he is happy with the replacement of Wehrlein because he is not much of a fan of Wehrlein’s attitude of stepping down. The Australian thinks that it’s a disgrace to claim to be unfit of a top level Formula 1 racer.
Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn is not much impressed with this type of criticism. She defended Wehrlein heavily and praised him about his nerves of speaking up about his fitness, because staying quiet is easy and but that would put him in danger. She thinks it’s all about time which is driver is in need of.
And she also added that it is very much dreadful how people are talking about his dropout. She thinks it is very much unethical and unprofessional to judge a player from outside. Because the players have to maintain themselves in much more pain than the outsiders.
However, It is expected that Pascal Wehrlein will return at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, April 9.