MAJOR SETBACK: Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein could miss pre-season testing. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
London - Pascal Wehrlein is still recovering from a scary rollover crash that occurred during the race of champions event in Miami little over two weeks ago.
In January 2017, the Sauber driver was sidelined by doctors at the event after rolling a bizarre three-wheeler into a barrier following contact with Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Wehrlein said: "It's no more than mild discomfort, but my real priority for the coming year is my Formula 1 season.”
Could miss tests
Now, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Wehrlein "obviously injured himself more heavily" than that and could miss the start of F1 testing later this month.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt explained: "Wehrlein suffered a neck injury that requires a longer healing phase.”
WATCH: Wehrlein's violent crash with Massa at #ROC
It is alarming news for Wehrlein, given the fact that drivers are currently increasing the strength of their necks for the much faster cars of 2017.
Doctors make final decision
Schmidt continued: "A doctor will decide at the end of next week whether Wehrlein can do the Barcelona testing in three weeks."
The report added that new Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi could be called up as a substitute.
READ: F1 - Pascal Wehrlein to join Sauber in 2017
But Sauber said on Twitter that the reports "are pure speculation".
The Swiss team said: "The medical examinations are still ongoing. We will provide information in due time."
Click on the GIF below to see Wehrlein crashing into Massa: