Funny listening to an ex-driver v ex-mechanic's talking points during the aborted (Free Practice) FP2 session over the wherewithal 'O Pascal's "Decision" to not race currently, as the first quarter 'O Shangri-lah's F1 "super Bowl was wiped out due to poor visibility...
Not really sure what it sez 'bout the current state 'O Formula 1, that one of its biggest headlines regards the plight of Pascal Wehrlein's vacancy from the Sauber F1 cockpit, in what's quickly turned into Fitness Gate.
As Y'all know, la Scuderia's (Ferrari) reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi has deputized for the injured German the past two events. Quite admirably Down Under in Bloody Albert Park, his Formula 1 debut,
finishing P12 in Australia
Then upon his second outing in Shanghai, Giovinazzi caused further fuss with his shunt in the dying moments of Qualie's Q1 session on Saturday, albeit advancing to Q2 and winding up P15 in the session with No Time.
Yet China will not be fondly remembered for now, where the young Italian ultimately had a weekend to forget. Ironically spinning off during the race on a patch 'O Ash-fault that was laid to smooth out the offending bump that put Wehrlein into tears last year!
As Antonio's shunt was so explosive, I-T triggered my Fire Alarm into chirping a deafeningly loud two-bar staccato burst; SHEISA! as I kid Yuhs NOT! How eerily bizarre for a random fire alarm being triggered late night for Mwah as the young Italian littered the track with carbon fibre. With Antonio finishing presumably a somewhat despondent? Did Not Finish (DNF) classification from his spectacular accident in the Chinese GP.
And whilst 'Ol Hobbo', nee David Hobbs naturally prattled on during Friday's aborted FP2 session 'bout how as a driver they'd need to take him Kicking 'N screaming from the cockpit! Professor Steve Matchett, who's F1 career on Pitlane as a Benetton mechanic ironically ended due to a back injury - was far more reserved towards Wehrlein's perceived "Softness" over not being fit enough to drive.
But the comment that was most enlightening to Mwah came from thou Wee Willie Buxom', (Will Buxton) NBCSN's Pitlane reporter who noted how Pascal's basically at least nine weeks behind in his fitness training vs. the entire F1 Grid!
As think it was Buxton who mused he won't be ready until the European campaign kicks off. With Matchett wryly noting the semantics being bandied about regarding the back injury causing him to not be fit enough to sustain the punishment of his backside basically sitting on the "Deck" and the brutality of pounding round the track! Especially Kerb Hopping or dropping a wheel, not even considering what another accident might incur... Like can Y'all say permanent paralysis?
As Buxton noted, let's not forget that the drivers needed to add 5-kilos (10.1lbs) of muscle onto their exquisite frames in order to handle the higher G-loading the new Wider's Better F1 chassis demand, now reportedly experiencing up to 6.5g's; SHEISA!
and while this will-he, won't -he race this weekend may be keeping the Sauber team's name in the news, I'm not sure how good this type of publicity is?
As surely the doctors know the severity of Wehrlein's back injury, for which Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber's Team Principal claims he had a compressed spine following his accident.
Hence, they should totally know his prognosis and when he'll truly be fit enough to return to racing, eh? Although only Pascal really knows what he's feeling and what his body's telling him when behind the wheel.
But for Mwah, the only part that's bothersome 'bout this whole affair, overlooking my disdain for Mrs. Kaltenborn, who's "Bedside Manner" with Drivers doesn't bode well with me, is that it seems rather silly to keep stringing us along upon when Pascal will really return to action...
As Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff divulged during the Chinese GP weekend, prior to the race that Wehrlein had sustained a fractured bone in his neck from his winter crash at the Race Of Champions, with Wehrlein now admitting he had three hairline fractures! Thus, with Giovinazzi's spectacularly crashed marred Shanghai outing, and Pascal on the mend, will this hasten Wehrlein's return to the cockpit?