McLaren's Fernando Alonso declared unfit for Bahrain GP
Alonso reveals he suffered fractured ribs in high-speed Australian GP crash; FIA doctors not risking second impact in Bahrain; McLaren driver to undergo another test before China
By James Galloway and William Esler in Bahrain
Last Updated: 04/04/16 2:37pm
Fernando Alonso has been ruled out of the Bahrain GP after fracturing his ribs in his horror Australian GP crash.
The Spaniard was ruled unfit to race by an FIA medical assessment on Thursday in Bahrain and later admitted "it is not 100 per cent" certain he will return to action in China in two weeks' time.
McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will take Alonso's place this weekend for his F1 debut.
Alonso said he was "a little bit disappointed" to miss out but accepted the FIA doctors' decision.
Explaining the timeline of his condition since his Melbourne accident on March 20, Alonso said: "I was okay on Sunday [after the race], some knee pain, but not big things. I had the green light from the doctors to leave the track and everything was okay.
"On Monday, I had a little bit of overall pain, but nothing too serious. Then I flew back to Spain and the pain was similar or a little bit more, so we decided to do a check - a CT scan.
"I had a small pneumothorax on the lung, so we took the advice from the doctors to relax at home and make everything come to normal, and we repeated the scan on Monday.
"The pneumothorax is gone but I have some rib fractures, so because of that there is a risk of driving because Formula 1 is a unique sport, a unique position on the car, and with the G-forces the fracture could move into the lung as well."
Alonso had a huge accident in Melbourne where his car barrel rolled through the Turn Three gravel trap after colliding with the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez. The sensors on-board the McLaren are reported to have recorded a peak force of 47G.
The 34-year-old appeared to slightly limp as he visited the Bahrain International Circuit's medical centre on Thursday morning where his condition was assessed ahead of the weekend's running.
"Two sets of chest CT scans were compared and it was decided that there was insufficient resolution of the signs to allow him to compete on safety grounds," an FIA statement read.
"A repeat chest scan has been requested before the Chinese Grand Prix and the results will be considered before allowing him to race there."
Alonso accepted "it's not 100 per cent" that he will definitely be back in action in Shanghai.
"There will be another test that I need to do in the next eight or 10 days, so after that test the FIA will evaluate again as they did now," he said.
However, the two-time champion insisted it was only a matter of time before he was fully fit to race again.
"I will recover," he added. "I am already recovered from the pneumothorax, but the ribs are still raw. There is very, very little risk."
Despite being forced to sit out the weekend, Alonso says he will remain in Bahrain to help Vandoorne on the reigning GP2 champion's F1 debut, while also assessing McLaren's car updates and the impact of F1's new-for-2016 rules.
"I've been very lucky all my career," he said. "This is my 16th F1 year and it's normal you have accidents here and there. Unfortunately it's happened twice in the last few years that I miss a race. Australia was quite a big impact so I knew it was risky to race here in Bahrain.
"The team did a fantastic job preparing the car for this weekend so I wanted to at least try but I understand the position. It's a good opportunity for Stoffel. I love F1 and racing but I want to learn from the outside also, how the team prepare the race, the strategy, the pitstops."
Vandoorne had been testing in Japan ahead of the Super Formula season and is flying to Bahrain. He had already been due to fly to Bahrain on Friday to serve as reserve driver for the weekend.
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