Team West McLaren Mercedes confirm that Juan Pablo Montoya is unable to take part in the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend, as a result of an injury he sustained whilst playing tennis during the Easter weekend. Juan Pablo was playing...
Team West McLaren Mercedes confirm that Juan Pablo Montoya is unable to take part in the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend, as a result of an injury he sustained whilst playing tennis during the Easter weekend.
Juan Pablo was playing tennis with his personal trainer in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday morning (26th March) when he slipped and fell, sustaining a minor hairline fracture to his left scapula (shoulderblade).
Following a number of tests, scans and an examination by one of McLaren's medical consultants, the team has been advised that Juan Pablo should rest to allow for the injury to heal.
Further scans will take place in two weeks time to verify the healing process, but at this stage the team fully expects Juan Pablo to be able to compete in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on 24th April 2005.
West McLaren Mercedes' nominated test driver for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Pedro de la Rosa will race the MP4-20 in Juan Pablo's place. The team's other test driver Alexander Wurz will pilot the third car during Friday's two practice sessions.
Pedro has undertaken 2168 kilometres of testing with the MP4-20 since late January whilst Alex has been focusing on Michelin tyre development with the MP4-19B. Subsequently after a discussion between the team and Alex, it was decided that on this particular occasion Pedro was better equipped to race at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
However following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Alex will commence his testing programme with the MP4-20, and will be able to share the test driver duties with Pedro at future races.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I'm obviously disappointed not to be able to race this coming weekend. However driving a Formula One car is hard work and it would be impossible to do with my injury and whilst it's difficult, we have to follow the advice from the medical experts."
"I'm going to take it easy for a few weeks and cheer for the team in front of the TV. I'm already looking forward to getting back into action as soon as possible. At least it's early in the season and a lot can happen, so I don't think my championship challenge is over."
Pedr de la Rosa:
"First of all I would like to wish Juan Pablo a speedy recovery. As one of the test drivers for West McLaren Mercedes this is really an extension of my existing track side responsibilities. I'm looking forward to the challenge of racing in Bahrain and will do my best."
"It will be a new experience as I have not competed in Bahrain before. I know the team and the car very well from our comprehensive testing programme and hopefully we will be able to put in a strong performance. I'm definitely going to enjoy this opportunity as much as I can."
"It goes without saying that I would have preferred to be the one racing the MP4-20 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. However the team and I agreed this was the best solution for this race and I am excited that I will be able to drive the MP4-20 for the first time on Friday in Bahrain. Like the rest of the team I also want to wish Juan Pablo all the best."
"It's in situations like these that Pedro and Alex roles become even more crucial within the team and I'm confident that both drivers will put in strong performances during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. We will continue to monitor Juan Pablo's progress over the coming weeks and are aiming to get him back in the car as soon as possible."
"Unfortunately Juan Pablo can't race at Bahrain due to his shoulder injury. I wish Juan Pablo a speedy recovery, so that he will be in a position to compete in the next race at Imola again."
"I am convinced that Pedro will do a competent job having covered more than 2000 Kilometres of testing with the MP4-20. He and Kimi will be efficiently supported by Alex when he will drive the MP4-20 for the first time during Friday's free practices."