French driver Nicolas Lapierre will be absent the from next round of the GP2 Series due to the physical consequences of the accident at the start of Monaco's race held this past Saturday, in which he was involved alongside other drivers in the ...
French driver Nicolas Lapierre will be absent the from next round of the GP2 Series due to the physical consequences of the accident at the start of Monaco's race held this past Saturday, in which he was involved alongside other drivers in the field.
"Nicolas has compressed two vertebrae - D6 and D7", stated his manager Didier Coton. "He is in a lot of pain, but is recovering well. He is well and should be going home today, [but] he needs to leave time for his injuries to heal."
Lapierre, who started from 14th in the grid, was the innocent victim of a shunt involving four cars that was triggered by Tristan Gommendy. The iSport International racer snapped sideways, flying into the air before hitting Alexandre Negrao and forcing him into Lapierre, and pushing him into Lucas di Grassi.
The Frenchman's Arden car cleared di Grassi's and landed heavily, causing initial fears for Lapierre's safety. He was able to lift himself from the cockpit, but had to lie down immediately at the side of the track, where he received medical attention.
Also involved in the start shunt were Jose Maria Lopez, with whom Gommendy first had contact with and Adam Carroll, Javier Villa, Gianmaria Bruni, Xandi Negrao and Nelson A. Piquet. Most retired either immediately or several laps later. Piquet and di Grassi did complete the race, albeit several laps down from the leader.
Lapierre, who has three podium finishes so far in the season, was able to comment on the incident: "I had a good start and I was looking to gain some places into Ste Devote, but I was hit from behind pretty hard and the car took off. It came down very heavily and to be honest I don't remember much after that. Crashing on your own is one thing, but to be involved in someone else's accident is something you can't do anything about", he mentioned.
The duration of his healing process is unknown, but Lapierre has been ruled out of the forthcoming race in Silverstone in two weeks and the mid-season test at Paul Ricard in July
"It's a clean compression, very painful but nothing major, [and] he will have a further X-ray in a week. After that, we will know more. At the moment, he has been told to take it easy for four to five weeks, but we will have an exact timescale once doctors have seen how well his back has healed in the week between X-rays", his manager explained.
"For now, we will get him home, make sure he is comfortable and let the healing process begin. He will be wearing a corset to stabilize his back, but should be allowed to walk this afternoon. Overall, he is well, and in very good spirits, but looking forward to getting back to racing", Coton added.
Arden International hasn't yet commented on who will take Lapierre's position until he is able to race again. The vacant place may provide an opening for team sponsor Red Bull to promote one of its young drivers, although the name of Luca Filippi -- FMS team racer up to the round in Spain who then was replaced by Giorgio Pantano -- could be also on the ticket to drive the Dallara-Renault number four in Silverstone on June 9th to 11th.
Please see Monaco race story.