Daniel De Jong is set to make a welcomed return to action in GP2 at this weekend's penultimate round in Bahrain after fully recovering from his injuries sustained in an accident at Spa-Francorchamps in August.
The Dutch driver suffered a heavy crash into the barriers which resulted in a broken vertebrae and the 23-year-old has been recovering in the care of Formula Medicine in Italy.
After nearly three months out of action his return has come much quicker than anticipated, and with his team MP Motorsport having already filled his race seat in the expected absence of the Dutch driver, he will switch to Trident Racing for the penultimate round at the Sakhir circuit. Rene Binder and Nicholas Latifi will compete for MP Motorsport as expected.
De Jong has paid tribute to all the medical staff and marshals who helped him at Spa as well as the doctors who helped him with his speedy recovery.
“I really want to say a big thank you to all of the FIA medical staff, the marshals trackside and all of those at Spa who helped to look after me so well after such a huge accident,” De Jong said. “Of course, I'd like to say a very special thank you to Dr. Ceccarelli and his team at Formula Medicine as they have helped me recover and return to GP2 much quicker than we expected.
“I had so many messages of support during my recuperation from fellow competitors and colleagues, and the GP2 organisers have been fantastic throughout. I really appreciate all of the kind wishes I have received and I'm really looking forward to Bahrain and being back on track.”
MP Motorsport team principal Sander Dorsman says the team is delighted and surprised by the rate of De Jong's recovery but are happy to see its driver secure a race seat for Bahrain.
“We are all so happy to see Daniel back to full fitness and delighted our colleagues at Trident have been able to offer one of their seats to him,” Dorsman said. “None of us expected Daniel to make such a quick recovery, it surprised us all so much we had the deals with René and Nicholas already in place for next weekend.
“It's certainly going to be a unique experience with Daniel out there competing against the two MP cars but great to see him back.”