Following significant effects from nausea, Will Power will not compete in Sunday’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the season opener for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Substituting in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet will be IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia.
“I feel terrible for Will and just hope he feels better soon as he was my teammate a few years ago and he’s a good friend,” Servia said.
Despite winning pole position on Saturday, leading a Team Penske 1-2-3-4, Power will miss his first IndyCar event since 2009.
“It’s not the way you want to get the opportunity to drive for Team Penske,” Servia said, “but it will be an honor to race for the team and drive the fastest car on the grid today.”
Servia, 41, has made 197 prior IndyCar starts, finishing on the podium three times in 2011. Making four starts at the St. Pete track, he finished best in 2008 when he came home seventh for KV Racing Technology.
“Obviously this is a very difficult decision to make in the first race of the season,” said Penske Racing President Tim Cindric. “But Will’s health and safety is the most important thing to consider.
“We hope Will makes a speedy recovery and with Oriol’s professionalism and experience, we know he’ll do a solid job for our team.”
Per IndyCar rules, Servia will start the race from the rear of the field, advancing Simon Pagenaud to pole position.