The reason for Will Power missing the season opening Verizon IndyCar Series race of 2016 around the streets of St Petersburg was not concussion, doctors have confirmed.
The Team Penske driver qualified on pole position during qualifying on Saturday with a new track record, but skipped Sunday morning warm-up due to nausea that ultimately saw him replaced in the race by Spanish veteran Oriol Servia.
Rumours were that the Australian was suffering from concussion after a practice crash, but doctors at the University of Miami revealed that after tests that an ear infection that Power was suffering from before the weekend even began was the cause of the nausea.
“The doctors at the University of Miami concluded Power’s symptoms were not the result of a concussion, and may have been related to a lingering inner-ear infection for which he was being treated,” said Dr. Terry Trammell, safety consultant to the IndyCar Series.
“There is no evidence that he sustained a concussion in the crash on Friday, which is consistent with his ear accelerometer data and the mandatory screening evaluation conducted after his crash.
“Given the nature of his inner-ear infection, it would have been extremely difficult for Will to pass the SCAT [Sports Concussion Assessment Tool], which is what ultimately led to the concussion diagnosis.
“At the University of Miami they conducted a week’s worth of testing in one day and Will was seen by multiple physicians. The doctors concluded definitively that Will had not sustained recent head trauma.”
Power is set to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series for round two at the Phoenix International Raceway, the first oval of the season, on 2 April.