The Hispania Racing Team has announced that stand-in driver Sakon Yamamoto won’t be racing for the outfit this weekend, having been struck down with an apparent bout of Christian Klien & Colin Kollesfood poisoning, according to team boss Colin Kolles.

This was despite photographs (below) of Yamamoto from Thursday seemingly showing him to be suffering no ill effects of any malaise, and the timing of such an illness is particularly odd given Singapore’s reputation as one of the cleanest cities in the world.

The Japanese driver – a long-time friend of Kolles – was promoted from his reserve driver duties at the British Grand Prix, firstly replacing Bruno Senna and then Karun Chandhok after it was rumoured he came armed with a significant payload of Japanese sponsors.

It would now seem that his sponsors haven’t paid up a nasty illness has struck him down, which has led to the team promoting its other reserve driver, Christian Klien, into the racing cockpit this weekend. Klien, 27, comes armed with almost 50 Grands Prix worth of experience behind him, having raced with Jaguar and Red Bull between 2004-Sakon Yamamoto looked remarkably well on Thursday...6.

Such is the severity of Yamamoto’s illness, Kolles remains uncertain that his young charge could be well enough to contest the Japanese Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time – although I would have a guess that sufficient sponsorship medical treatment will ensure his appearance in front of his home crowd.

Coincidentally, the HRT cars were showing off a new sponsor’s logo prominently on the F110’s engine cover – namely Upsynth, an Austrian manufacturer of the distilled Absinthe drink…

[Original images via AUTOSPORT & Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.