Team Germany, the most successful country in the Race of Champions will be solely represented by Sebastian Vettel after his compatriot Pascal Wehrlein was forced to withdraw due to doctor’s orders after his crash yesterday.
During the individual ROC event, the 22-year-old flipped his car due to a driver error in the final heat. Having lost to 2017 ROC champion Juan Pablo Montoya, yet winning against Petter Solberg, it was essential for Wehrlein to beat fellow F1 driver Felipe Massa in order to continue in the competition.
The pair set themselves up for their second drag to the line as Massa maintained his lead. Wehrlein though had strayed too far onto right hand side of the track and smashed into the central reservation as the pair went over the line.
He lost control of his Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler, launching his car off the side of Massa’s and over the Tech-Pro barrier. He and his co-driver walked away, but has decided to pull out, leaving Vettel to race alone for Team Germany.
“I’m very sorry to withdraw from today’s ROC Nations Cup.” started Wehrlein. “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.”
Wehrlein himself has already signed a contract to drive for the Sauber F1 Team in 2017.