x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Rookie Perez given the green light for Canada after crash

FIA's Todt takes time to lay confusion on the Bahrain situation squarely on Ecclestone.

Sergio Perez survived his Monaco crash thanks to his car taking all of the damage.
Sergio Perez survived his Monaco crash thanks to his car taking all of the damage.

MONTREAL, Canada // Today's opening practice sessions for the Canadian Grand Prix will feature a full roster of Formula One drivers after Sergio Perez was yesterday passed fit by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

Sauber's Mexican rookie was taken to hospital after crashing into a safety barrier in Monte Carlo a fortnight ago, but following an examination by the sport's governing body, he will be allowed to race this weekend.

Perez's preparation has been hindered by his accident in Monaco. He had scheduled a simulator session immediately after the race, but was required to stay in Princess Grace Hospital until Monday.

When he was released, he remained in the principality for a couple of days as he was "still feeling dizzy". He later travelled to Zurich for more medical examinations before flying home to Mexico to recuperate.

"After a big crash, it always helps to drive something," said Perez, who went karting on Monday and Tuesday of this week. "All the doctors were very positive. The FIA did an exam - they checked all my bones, my reaction, my memory and made sure everything was fine. They made sure I didn't feel sick or have a headache and when they saw the results from the doctor, everything was fine."

Perez said his commitment to recovering in time to race in Canada has resulted in him remaining unaware of recent developments surrounding the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The kingdom's postponed race was reinstated to the calendar a week ago, but yesterday Jean Todt, the FIA president, asked Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights owner, to revise the calendar once more following objections from the teams.

The result is widely expected to see Bahrain removed from the calendar for the second time this year.

The drivers - with the exception of Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber - have refused to speak out publicly. But the Formula One Teams Association (Fota) wrote to Todt earlier this week making clear their unwillingness to race in Bahrain. They said the decision to shift the Indian Grand Prix to December 11 was disruptive to transport and accommodation plans.

"I have listened to your last-minute objections and have asked the commercial rights holder to re-examine his calendar proposal and, if necessary, to submit a revised proposal to the World Council," Todt wrote in a letter to the Formula One Teams Association.

"The FIA always has, at heart, the smooth running of the championship and the interest of the teams, and is always prepared to address any issues, however difficult, in a constructive manner."

Todt, who faced criticism for overlooking an FIA stature that rules the calendar cannot be changed without the teams consent, laid the blame for the mismanagement of the situation squarely on Ecclestone.

"Under the Concorde Agreement, the responsibility to set the calendar and submit it to the FIA for approval rests solely with the Commercial Rights Holder," Todt wrote.

"Consequently, it is the responsibility of the Commercial Rights Holder to perform all necessary prior due diligence to secure his calendar proposal to the World Motor Sport Council."

 

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae