Montoya doubtful for Bahrain

UPDATE #3 This rumor is now 'fact,' Team McLaren-Mercedes has confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya will miss this coming weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, as a result of the injury he sustained during the Easter break.

"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."

Mercedes boss, Norbert Haug added: "Unfortunately Juan Pablo can't race at Bahrain due to his shoulder injury. I wish Juan Pablo a speedy recovery, so that he will be in a position to compete in the next race at Imola again."

03/29/05 According to unconfirmed reports, Juan Pablo Montoya looks set to miss the next five weeks to five months after damaging his shoulder while playing a game of tennis last weekend. This rumor is upgraded to 'strong.' 03/27/05 According to Autosport-Atlas, McLaren are pulling out all the stops to try and get Alexander Wurz into their third car for the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix, in the wake of Juan Pablo Montoya's likely absence. With Montoya likely to miss the next race of the Championship in Bahrain, insiders have told Autosport-Atlas that the team's engineers have now been instructed to speed up modifications to the MP4-20 chassis so the tall Wurz can run the third car in Sakhir. 03/27/05 McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya could miss the Bahrain GP with a shoulder injury. The Colombian driver sustained a hairline fracture of the shoulder after falling badly while playing tennis with his trainer, Gerry Convey, on Saturday. According to the autosport-atlas website, Montoya has been told to rest for three weeks, but a team spokesman revealed that the former Williams driver has not yet been ruled out of the upcoming race in Bahrain. "We will make a final decision on Thursday," he said. Pedro de la Rosa, who has shown impressive pace in the Friday practice sessions, would be the obvious choice to replace Montoya in Bahrain, should the charismatic driver not be passed fit to compete.

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