McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso has ‘provisionally’ been cleared by the FIA to race at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, subject to the Spaniard passing further medical and fitness tests following Friday’s opening practice session.
The Spaniard was ruled out of competing at the preceding Bahrain Grand Prix after suffering a hairline rib fracture and pneumothorax in his colossal accident at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.
Alonso’s place at Bahrain was taken by McLaren’s reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who outperformed experienced teammate Jenson Button to claim the team’s first points’ finish of the season.
After watching the race from the sidelines, Alonso set about returning to training last week and has passed the FIA’s initial medical check-ups.
“The stewards have taken advice from the FIA Medical Delegate, who in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Chinese Grand Prix and the driver’s doctors advise that he considers the driver provisionally fit to take part in the event,” read a statement issued by the FIA Stewards’ panel officiating at the Chinese Grand Prix.
‘Immediately’ following FP1, Alonso will be required to undergo further tests to determine if he is fit enough to continue through the weekend; Alonso has in turn vowed that he will not stubbornly oppose any decision made against his further participation.
“If tomorrow in the car I feel that I’m not 100 per cent, because it’s a unique position with g-forces and many things going on, I will be the first [to decide] not to race,” Alonso told Sky Sports.
“The priority is to score points and to be 100 per cent in the race. Imagine that I’m not fit and I need to retire in the middle of the race because I’m not in a condition to race? That would be unfair on the team.”
Vandoorne will remain on standby in case Alonso is ruled – or ruled himself – to be unfit to continue driving this weekend.
Image via XPB Images