Pascal Wehrlein crashed into the back of Felipe Massa during January’s Race of Champions event in Miami.
In a bizarre crash, after losing to Felipe Massa, Wehrlein crashed into the back of Massa flipping the car into the barriers.
The German driver would go on to miss winter testing for his new team Sauber and whilst travelling to the opening rounds of the 2017 Formula One World Championship in Australia and China he also did not race in those Grand Prix, choosing instead to return in Bahrain.
At the time the severity of his injury was not known, but now it has been revealed that he suffered a compression fracture of a neck vertebra, with the German tweeting some images of his rehabilitation prior to his return.
? Pascal Wehrlein (@PWehrlein) 17 April 2017
‘I think I’m not someone who likes to share everything in public.
‘My social media I use it more as a race driver where I do my job and then I like to have a private life as well, so I don’t share a lot of my private life on social media. And this injury was something private. In the end it was something serious. Wehrlein told motorsport.com.
Should Sauber have been more open about the injury to prevent some of the mis-informed rumours that had circulated around the paddock?
‘Everyone knew that I was injured. Everyone knew that I had to get the green light from the doctors, I had to be cleared by the FIA, so normally that doesn’t happen if you have muscle pain.
‘We said it’s a back injury and it will be fine with some time. That’s what we said. We didn’t lie to anyone, we didn’t hide anything. We always said I had a back injury. It’s not a problem because we knew I would come back soon.
‘That’s what we said. Then people started to create their own fantasy.’
Speaking about the Race Of Champions event, also speaking to motorsport.com he added: ‘I will go again to the Race Of Champions. Maybe not this year, and maybe I won’t drive a car with three wheels…
‘But for sure I will go again. I think this year I will skip it once. Maybe I will go there just for the party.’