McLaren confirmed on March 30th that Juan Pablo Montoya will sit out the Bahrain Grand Prix due to a shoulder injury sustained while playing tennis last weekend. Team test driver Pedro de la Rosa will stand in for the Colombian, while McLaren's ...
McLaren confirmed on March 30th that Juan Pablo Montoya will sit out the Bahrain Grand Prix due to a shoulder injury sustained while playing tennis last weekend. Team test driver Pedro de la Rosa will stand in for the Colombian, while McLaren's other tester Alex Wurz will drive the third car in the Friday practice sessions.
Montoya fell while training last Saturday and suffered a minor fracture to his left scapula. A team statement said that following further tests and scans, Juan Pablo had been advised to rest but he is expected to be back in action at Imola for the San Marino GP in three weeks time.
"I'm obviously disappointed not to be able to race this coming weekend," said Montoya. "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."
De la Rosa has had more time on the test track with the MP4-20 so McLaren decided he was better prepared to take the race seat this weekend. Since the beginning of this year Wurz has been mainly working on tyre testing in the MP4-19B chassis.
"First of all I would like to wish Juan Pablo a speedy recovery," said de la Rosa. "As one of the test drivers for Team 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."
After testing for Jordan in 1998, De la Rosa, 34, debuted as an F1 race driver in 1999 with Arrows and continued with the team the following season. The Spaniard then moved to Jaguar for two years, where his best race result was fifth in Italy. He has been test driver for McLaren since 2003.