Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere will miss all races he was scheduled to run in June as he begins his recovery from a fractured vertebra caused in a crash during the Monaco Formula Renault 3.5 Series event.
Vaxiviere’s Lotus touched a rival’s car and took off before landing heavily on the track. He made it back to the pits and was transported to the Monaco Hospital, where x-rays diagnosed a fracture in his fifth vertebra, and his recovery period will be approximately 45 days. He will miss the races in Belgium and Moscow as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours where he was scheduled to run in a Prospeed Competition Porsche.
“I’ll have to give the Spa-Francorchamps and Moscow events a miss as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours,” said a disappointed Vaxiviere. “I’m now fighting another kind of battle! I’m a fighter and my morale’s good. I’m leaving hospital on Wednesday and I’m going to do my utmost to come back even stronger. My aim is to be back in the car at the Nürburgring in mid-July.”
Vaxiviere’s weekend had started promising, when he was in the top ten and quicker than his more experienced team-mate Marlon Stockinger in the only free-practice session. Qualifying didn’t go quite to plan however, and in the split session he ended ninth fastest in the first session that put him 18th on the grid for the race.
“Practice was the moment to get used to the circuit and gain experience. Setting the tenth-quickest time without using new tyres is very promising.
“My first run in qualifying with new tyres was good as I set the fifth-best time, and the second-quickest ideal lap. Unfortunately, the set-up was no longer suitable when I shod the second set of new rubber. Not having used them in free practice maybe handicapped us as the wear at the rear was different. In addition, I was baulked during my lap. It’s a pity as even if we’re very quick in race conditions it’s difficult to fight back when you start so far down the grid in Monaco.”
New Zealander Richie Stanaway has been called up by Lotus to replace Vaxiviere for at least the Belgian round of the series. It will be his first time back in a Formula Renault 3.5 Series car since he suffered his own back injury while racing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2012, ironically while driving for Lotus.
We at The Checkered Flag wish Matthieu Vaxiviere a speed recovery from his injury.