Esteban Guerrieri will complete the World Touring Car Championship season with Honda, as it was confirmed that Tiago Monteiro would not return to the driving seat this season.
Monteiro has been forced to miss the past three events as a result of the injuries he sustained in a testing accident in September. The Portuguese racer had been leading the WTCC drivers’ standings before the accident, which has now been confirmed to have ruled him out of racing for the rest of the year.
Since the news of Monteiro’s inability to race he has been substituted by Gabriele Tarquini in China and then Guerrieri in Japan, Macau and now Qatar next week.
Monteiro will, however, return to the WTCC paddock in the season-ending night races in the Middle East, where he will support team-mate Norbert Michelisz’s title bid.
“While I’m obviously disappointed not to be driving in Qatar, I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of Norbi and Honda becoming WTCC Champions,” said Monteiro. “I simply wouldn’t dream of not being there with the team and my incredible mechanics to witness what could be an historic moment.
“I’ve been part of Honda’s line-up since the inception of the project in 2012 and feel like I’ve made a large contribution; all of which leads up to this moment.
“Realistically, despite having led the championship for much of the year, I knew my title hopes were over when I was unable to race in Macau, so this one feels like less of a blow.
“With a full winter ahead of me to continue my recovery, I’m not going to take any unnecessary risks and instead aim to return to the cockpit of a racing car next year.”