Pascal Wehrlein was ruled out of the Nations’ Cup portion of the Race of Champions after an accident in the individual stage on the Saturday, and his Formula 1 team has sought to inform him that the necessary medical examinations of him are still ongoing.
In a statement on Monday, Sauber F1 Team sought to address reports regarding Wehrlein’s health, if he was not ready for preseason testing. The opening round of testing takes place at the end of this month in Barcelona.
1/2 Current rumors about Pascal Wehrlein in the media: The medical examinations are still ongoing.
In a statement released by RoC, Wehrlein said he had “mild discomfort” but looked set to be back to driving soon. He switches this year from the now-defunct Manor team to Sauber this season.
“I’m very sorry to withdraw from today’s ROC Nations Cup,” Wehrlein said in that statement. I’d really like to race again and I feel fine, but the doctors have advised me to rest so of course I will take their advice. It’s no more than mild discomfort but my real priority for the coming year is my Formula 1 season. So while I’m sad to be missing out on all the action, I send my best wishes to my team-mate Sebastian Vettel and the rest of the competitors here in Miami and I wish them another exciting day’s racing.”
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.