After a solid collision in pre-season testing a few weeks ago, things didn’t look good for McLaren’s new star driver, Fernando Alonso. After he was flown to the local hospital for testing and treatment for a concussion, the Spaniard has spent the last few weeks at the mercy of the FIA medical staff for clearance to race. Despite what both McLaren and Alonso considered to be a minor injury, the two-time World Champion was not allowed to race in the 2015 season opener in Australia. However, it seems that the FIA has finally given Alonso the clearance he needs to go racing, and McLaren-Honda Racing have confirmed that Fernando will be occupying the driver seat of his new MP4-30 Formula One car.
McLaren is still not out of rough water. Massive and frequent pre-season failures have kept McLaren in the garage and off the track, and those faults haunted the first race weekend as well. The car couldn’t manage 15 consecutive laps during practice and qualifying, and then on race day Kevin Magnussen (the driver replacing Alonso on the grid) say a massive engine failure on the formation lap; ending his race before it even began. Alonso’s teammate Jensen Button did manage to complete the race, but he came in dead last.
The Spaniard is considered by many to be the best driver on the grid, but unless McLaren can provide him with a decent car, and quickly, it won’t matter much that the FIA says he is healthy enough to race.
Catch all the action this Sunday. If it interests you, we have also included McLaren’s full press release below.
Fernando Alonso to return to the cockpit in Malaysia
McLaren-Honda is pleased to announce that, subject to a successful final FIA medical assessment this Thursday 26th March at the Sepang International Circuit, Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit of his MP4-30 car for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Since his Barcelona testing accident, Fernando has followed a rigorous, specialised training programme, designed and closely monitored by leading sports scientists, to ensure his safe and timely return to racing.
At the McLaren Technology Centre last week, Fernando met with his engineers and drove the simulator, to bring him up to date with the latest developments on the MP4-30 chassis and power unit. As part of that process he spent time with senior engineers, discussing the accident and reviewing the comprehensive data and analysis, all of which has been shared with the FIA.
While there was nothing evident in the extensive car telemetry data, nor anything abnormal in the subsequent reconstructions and laboratory tests, Fernando recalls a sense of ‘heavy’ steering prior to the accident. Consequently, the team has fitted an additional sensor to the car, to increase our data capture.
Fernando is very much looking forward to getting back into the car and making a substantial contribution to our collective efforts with Honda, to accelerate the required improvement to our on-track performance.