Injured Formula Renault 3.5 racer Richie Stanaway has given up any hopes of returning to racing this year.
The Kiwi, who suffered back injuries in an aerial crash at Spa in June, was initially considered out for the season. But he was told a few weeks into his recovery that there was a chance of making an early comeback. However, the 20-year-old, who returned to the paddock at Silverstone last weekend, said doctors recently ruled out any chance of returning to race again this year.
"Six weeks into my recovery I was told I might be able to be back in time for the last two race weekends [September 28-30 and October 19-21]," Stanaway said. "But I was told a few weeks ago that won't be the case. That wasn't the best thing to hear, but it's important not to take any risks, especially with your spine. If you have a wrist or a knee injury you can possibly take a bit of a chance, but with the spine it's important to make sure there is no risk involved coming back to racing."
The Gravity Sport-backed driver is continuing his recuperation at his UK home, and will take a significant step this week when the supportive corset he has been wearing since the accident is finally removed.
"The corset comes off on Friday," he added. "After that I can do some light training, but nothing too intense. Then it's just a matter of waiting a few more months until the bone gets its density back before it is safe to race again.
"Both myself and Gravity would hate for me to get back in a car too soon and have something go wrong which just prolongs the whole process. We've got to make sure that everything is back to where it needs to be.
"It's frustrating, because by the time I get back in a car this will be the longest break I have had since I started racing formula cars. But it's extremely motivating for when I do finally get back in the car. I'll definitely be raring to go."