Alonso cleared to race in Chinese Grand Prix
SHANGHAI – McLaren driver Fernando Alonso has been cleared to race in Sunday’s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix after undergoing further medical tests at the Shanghai circuit following the opening practice session on Friday.
The Spaniard, who was provisionally cleared to race on Thursday, was 12th fastest in a disrupted session that was stopped twice.
“As a result of a medical examination undertaken following free practice one, the FIA F1 medical delegate, Prof. Jean-Charles Piette, and the chief medical officer of the Chinese Grand Prix, Prof. Shiyi Chen, have ruled that Fernando Alonso is fit to take part in all remaining sessions,” the sport’s governing International Automobile Federation said.
However, the Spaniard will have to stop his car immediately in case of any abnormal symptoms, the FIA added.
Alonso sat out the last race in Bahrain after failing a medical following an horrific accident in the March 20 season-opener in Melbourne that left him with fractured ribs and the risk of a collapsed lung.
No further checks will be undertaken, the FIA said in the statement, unless Alonso reports any abnormal symptoms.
Alonso, who has returned to his normal training routine, said on Thursday he felt 100 percent ready to race and was no longer in any pain.
“In Bahrain I was mentally 100 percent ready to race but physically I had a lot of pain,” he said.
“Now the situation has improved a lot and I’m mentally 120 percent but physically I’m also 100 percent with no pain, at least in the last couple of days.”
The 34-year-old completed 11 laps in the opening practice session on Friday and was 0.564 seconds slower than team-mate Jenson Button in eighth, who also completed 11 laps.
Alonso is one of two drivers, the other being Button, to have finished every Chinese Grand Prix since it first appeared on the calendar in 2004.
He has won it twice, in 2005 with Renault and 2013 for Ferrari.
Alonso was replaced by McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne in Bahrain where the Belgian scored the team’s first point of the season with a 10th-place finish on his grand prix debut. Vandoorne had flown to China in case Alonso was unable to race. -Reuters