McLaren confirmed on April 19th that Juan Pablo Montoya will miss the San Marino Grand Prix and test driver Alex Wurz will stand in for the Colombian. Montoya is recovering from a shoulder injury that put him out of action for Bahrain and is still...
McLaren confirmed on April 19th that Juan Pablo Montoya will miss the San Marino Grand Prix and test driver Alex Wurz will stand in for the Colombian. Montoya is recovering from a shoulder injury that put him out of action for Bahrain and is still not ready to race this coming weekend. After an evaluation today, medical advisors said it was too soon for Montoya to return to the cockpit.
"It is disappointing that Juan Pablo is not yet fully recovered from the injury he sustained to his shoulder on 26th March, however it is imperative that his shoulder heals properly to ensure no additional risk," said McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh.
"We will assess the situation again next week but at this stage we are optimistic he will return for the Spanish Grand Prix as the shoulder is healing well."
Wurz last raced for Benetton in 2000 and has been test driver for McLaren since 2001. Pedro de la Rosa, who deputized for Montoya in Bahrain, will return to the third driver role for the Friday practice sessions in Imola.
"I am really happy to have the opportunity to race MP4-20 this coming weekend at Imola," said Wurz. "Since joining the team at the end of 2000, I have completed over 70,000 testing kilometres and it will be great to have the chance to actually race a West McLaren Mercedes car."
"I am looking forward to getting back to competitive action and hope I can secure a good result for the team. It goes without saying that I wish Juan Pablo a very speedy recovery."
Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug is confident Wurz will do well. "I am convinced that Alex will do a competent job," he commented. "He really deserves this race, and he will have our full support."
"Alex has covered more than 1700 kilometres in the MP4-20 since he first ran the car during Friday's free practices at Bahrain. He and Kimi will be efficiently supported by Pedro who will be our third driver to drive the MP4-20 on Friday."