Sebastien Vettel is to make his Formula 1 debut in the United States Grand Prix after Robert Kubica was forced out of the event on medical advice.

Kubica had said he felt ready to return to Formula 1 competition at Indianapolis, although such a return was dependent on the Pole being passed fit by the FIA medical team less than a week after the high-speed smash in Montreal that left him lucky to escape injury.

However, doctors expressed concern that another incident so soon after the Canadian smash could leave Kubica suffering another concussion, with the result that he will now be replaced by test driver Vettel for the race.

The World Series runner, who impressed many while running in the third BMW Sauber on the Friday of a number of races last season, will now make his debut in F1 at just 19 years of age.

"Of course I am looking forward to my first F1 race," he admitted, "but I wish it had come under different circumstances. It's never nice if a team-mate can't drive because he had an accident.

"For me the Indianapolis Speedway is unknown territory, but I have prepared myself for this situation and I have two 90 minute practice sessions. I know the car very well as I have quite a lot of testing miles under my belt."

BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen admitted he was disappointed that Kubica was being forced to miss the race, although he said the team fully understood the reasons given by the medics for refusing the Pole permission to compete.

"In reviewing the accident and medical examination, the doctors did not give Robert the green light to race," he said, "and there will be another medical check before the race in Magny-Cours.

"Although the doctors see Robert in a remarkably good condition they will not let him race here, mainly because of the risk of another impact. We respect the decision of the medical personnel and the team has prepared for this situation. Sebastien will receive all possible support from us and we hope for another good race here."

Timo Glock will act as reserve driver for the Indianapolis weekend.

 

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