Pascal Wehrlein will sit out the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix with Antonio Giovinazzi set to deputise again for the German at Sauber this weekend.
Wehrlein withdrew from the season opening Australian Grand Prix citing fitness concerns despite taking part in Friday practice.
The 22-year-old suffered a back injury sustained in a crash during the Race of Champions event in January, which forced him to miss the opening F1 pre-season test.
Sauber stated that Wehrlein was due to return for the Chinese Grand Prix but is now aiming to make his comeback at either the Bahrain or Russian grand prix.
“For me the most important is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100 percent performance from my side as soon as possible,” said Wehrlein.
“I will then be well-prepared for my first complete Grand Prix weekend for the Sauber F1 Team.
“Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but, if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.”
Wehrlein’s absence sees Giovinazzi promoted back to the race seat having finished 12th on his F1 debut at Albert Park two weeks ago.