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Montoya damages shoulder 28 Mar 2005

Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 5 March 2005

A tennis injury has prompted media speculation that Juan Pablo Montoya could miss next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

A McLaren spokesperson told the BBC that Montoya fell on the shoulder, causing a hairline fracture and minor tissue damage. The injury is not thought to be serious, though the Colombian is expected to undergo further tests before a final decision on his race participation is made later this week.

If Montoya is unable to compete in Bahrain, his most likely replacement would be third driver, Pedro de la Rosa. The Spaniard has been running for the team in Friday practice sessions, which McLaren are eligible to participate in for the first time this year following their fifth-place finish in the 2004 championship.

McLaren’s other official test driver, Alexander Wurz, could then in theory step up to replace De la Rosa as third driver. However, Wurz is too tall to fit into the current MP4-20 and the team would have to accelerate work to modify the car’s cockpit to accommodate the Austrian.

BAR’s Takuma Sato, who missed the last round of the championship in Malaysia due to a virus, is expected to fully fit for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place on April 1-3.