Montoya to Miss Bahrain GP

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya will miss next weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, his McLaren team confirmed on Wednesday

Montoya to Miss Bahrain GP

Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will race instead.

As exclusively revealed by Autosport-Atlas last weekend, Montoya got injured while playing tennis in Madrid, Spain, and he has got a hairline crack in his shoulder and a certain amount of tissue damage.
 
Following a number of tests, scans and an examination by one of McLaren's medical consultants, the team were advised that Montoya should rest to allow for the injury to heal.

Further scans will take place in two weeks time to verify the healing process, but McLaren said they were expecting the Colombian to race in San Marino next month.

"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."

Spaniard de la Rosa, one of the team's test drivers, will replace Montoya in what will be his first race since the 2002 season.

"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."

Austrian Alex Wurz will drive the third McLaren on Friday.

"It goes without saying that I would have preferred to be the one racing the MP4-20 at the Bahrain Grand Prix," admitted Wurz. "However the team and I agreed this was the best solution for this race and I am excited that I will be able to drive the MP4-20 for the first time on Friday in Bahrain. Like the rest of the team I also want to wish Juan Pablo all the best."

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