Shanghai: Former world champion Fernando Alonso has been provisionally cleared to return for McLaren at this week’s Chinese Grand Prix, Formula One’s ruling FIA said yesterday.
The double world champion, who suffered a sickening crash at the season opener in Australia, will undergo further tests after today’s first free practice to determine his “further eligibility”.
Alonso insisted he was “120 per cent ready” to compete in Shanghai.
“I feel good,” said the Spaniard, who sat out the Bahrain race two weeks ago with a fractured rib after failing a medical.
“I was mentally 100 per cent in Bahrain but physically in a lot of pain,” added the 34-year-old following more medical procedures in Shanghai.
“I was ready to try and see if the pain was manageable with the rib broken, but now I’m mentally 120 per cent and physically 100 per cent. The pain level is zero.”
Alonso’s McLaren flipped and went into a terrifying roll in Melbourne after he clipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas at close to 200mph, but the two-time champion crawled from the wreckage before walking away.
He showed no ill signs yesterday.
“It’s been the normal routine the last two weeks – running, bicycle, golf, tennis,” Alonso told reporters. “I’ve been sleeping okay for the last two weeks as well.
“I feel I will be 100 per cent. If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t fly here,” added the Spaniard, who won the world title with Renault in 2005 and 2006. “I will see how it goes after a few laps. If it’s not okay I will be the first to say.”
McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne took Alonso’s place in Bahrain and scored a point on his debut.
Alonso, who admitted he was “lucky to be alive” after his high-speed accident, also missed last season’s Australian Grand Prix after suffering concussion in a testing crash that kept him in hospital for several days.