Juan Pablo Montoya is hoping to return to the McLaren cockpit for next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix but it's not yet certain he will be fit enough. Montoya has been out of action the last two races due to a shoulder injury, and will spend some...
Juan Pablo Montoya is hoping to return to the McLaren cockpit for next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix but it's not yet certain he will be fit enough. Montoya has been out of action the last two races due to a shoulder injury, and will spend some time at McLaren's base to see how he feels in the car before Barcelona.
"I think I still have to wait a little bit to make the decision," the Colombian told Autosport. "At the moment things are looking pretty good to be in Barcelona, but I'm going to spend a couple of days in the factory, doing some work there, to see if I can accommodate in the car comfortably to drive in the race."
It's not so much the fractured bone that is the problem, but the muscle wastage incurred due to Montoya's arm having to be immobilised. Team boss Ron Dennis said at Imola that Juan Pablo would go in a simulator before Barcelona and his performance would determine if he will race.
"You know, the idea was to be there last race but I hadn't healed enough," said Montoya. "With the fracture, of course there are some muscles that lose form and stuff and we're doing a lot of work everyday to be fit enough to drive the car in Barcelona. I think by the time of Barcelona I should be okay."
Pedro de la Rosa deputized for Montoya in Bahrain and McLaren's second test driver Alex Wurz at Imola. Both put in good performances but which will stand in for Montoya in Spain, if necessary, Juan Pablo isn't sure. "Probably Alex will drive the car. I don't know, that's the team's decision," he said.
Montoya's teammate Kimi Raikkonen was on the test track at Jerez last week, along with de la Rosa, preparing for Barcelona. Raikkonen took pole position at Imola and had an early lead in the race until his car failed him. McLaren is expecting another step forward in performance in Spain.
"We have had two productive days in Jerez preparing for the Spanish Grand Prix," said Raikkonen. "We have been testing a number of developments in respect of aerodynamics and set-ups and it will be interesting to see how they work in a race weekend situation."