Analysis: Too Tall a Story for Wurz

Injured Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was not the only McLaren driver cursing his misfortune after being ruled out of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix

Analysis: Too Tall a Story for Wurz

Alexander Wurz, the Formula One team's official reserve, has waited four years for a chance to race again and when it came along at last this week the Austrian knew he could not take it.

The lanky 31-year-old has yet to drive the 2005-specification McLaren because he has been too tall to fit into it until now.

Although the team have pulled out all the stops to get one ready for Wurz to drive in Friday practice in Bahrain, Spanish second test driver Pedro de la Rosa will be Montoya's race replacement.

It is a situation that might have some drivers tearing their hair out in frustration but Wurz put on a brave face on Thursday.

He recognised that, with no experience of the car at a circuit he has never before driven, it would have been too risky to select him.

"Not knowing how I will physically sit in the car -- because I didn't fit properly until yesterday almost and they are still getting parts flown out tonight for me -- would have been a mega risk for the team," he said.

"We had a long meeting, almost until midnight," he added.

"I said to the team that if I were the team boss, I would go for the safe option which is currently putting Pedro in because he has far more miles in the car. I have zero.

"I am a human being. Of course I would like to race, no question," added the Austrian. "But there's no reason to go home and cry in the corner. I can go home and slit my wrists or I can just get on and I'm a guy who just looks forward."

Until now, Wurz has been able to test only with last year's car. Now at least he can at least get his hands on the new machinery and hope to replace de la Rosa as a Friday driver later in the season.

"I'm happy that we could make me fit even for this Friday because it was very close," he said. "It was a big, big effort for the team to make everything happen for now.

"We are fighting here for millimetres, which is normal in my career, but it is the layout inside the cockpit which is very compact.

"We are not talking about sitting comfortably. We are talking about being able to perform," added the Austrian.

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Series Formula 1
Author Alan Baldwin
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