Alonso to miss Bahrain Grand Prix after medical checks

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso will not take part in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix after medical checks ruled him out of competition.

Alonso underwent a routine evaluation at the Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday following his high-speed crash in the Australian Grand Prix.

“Following an examination undertaken this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit Medical Centre, it has been decided that McLaren Honda F1 Team driver Fernando Alonso should not take part in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix,” the FIA announced in a statement.

“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.”

“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 said he “tried until the last minute to race in Bahrain after the accident in Australia” and admitted he had “hard days logically after such an impact”.

“But until the last second I try to race to help the team after the incredible work they have done this week.”

“I understand the position of the FIA doctors ​​and now I will try to help my team mate Stoffel Vandoorne to make the most of the weekend. Thanks to everyone.”

Alonso was forced to miss last year’s Australian Grand Prix following a testing crash which left him with concussion.

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    58 comments on “Alonso to miss Bahrain Grand Prix after medical checks”

    1. (slightly unrelated) but one day I hope we find out what really happened last year in Barcelona and what it really did to his health.
      Other than that, good call to err on the side of safety, although I have to wonder what kind of chest injury could be so severe as to stop him from racing…
      Great chance for Stoffel Vandoorne, arguably the biggest talent out there without a seat at the moment.

    2. He has some horrible luck, doesn’t he? Get well soon Fernando, your health is far more important than anything else.

      1. @ambroserpm He’s explained his injuries in more detail – there’s a chance he may not be able to race in China:

        Rib fracture could delay Alonso’s return

    3. Wow, didn’t expect that, but now considering the crash, which Alonso had, it’s pretty obvious he would’ve been considered as unfit. Last year during testing the crash was not as severe and he still could not take part in Australian GP.

      Nevertheless, it gives an opportunity to Stoffel. I’m looking forward to what he can do this weekend. And he really deserves this chance.

    4. Stoffel it’s your time to shine

      1. Can’t wait to see him make his debut!! Still, devastated that Alonso cannot race though, I really hope he’s back for China!

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          31st March 2016, 12:53

          Likewise, I have mixed emotions.

          Very, very excited to see the Stoff in action though.

        2. @strontium Devastated? Disappointed, sure, but devastated? Talk about overstating things…

    5. Ah, tough luck, but if the doctors say no, then it’s no. Get well soon Fernando!

    6. Wow, something that I first heard about because of “The Sun” (linked in the F1F roundup) has actually turned out to be true. Must check the skies for squadrons of flying pigs…

      1. I’m feeling slightly embarrassed following my comment on it in the roundup :|

        1. Don’t be – most of us were thinking the same. The article really wasn’t giving much evidence. Just because they turned out to be right, doesn’t mean they came to the right conclusion for the right reasons :)

        2. I thought it too @strontium, oops! Your point is still valid that they exaggerated the story by saying he had a near death experience. If they just kept things sensible people would believe more about what they write!

      2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        31st March 2016, 13:11

        @geemac …flying pigs, snow in hell or Bernie saying something progressive.

      3. What about rain in Bahrain! (that’d be an great song for Ham to try out) but I only joke. For me such publications give you

    7. Was surprised that it’s related to chest scans, but relived that its not related to concussion.
      It worries me that another concussion to Alonso and he may be forced to retire in the same way that Dario Franchitti did.

    8. The article headline came to me as a complete surprise as I was expecting him to race.

    9. Why did they do a chest CT? Unless they were worried about possible soft tissue damage or organ damage. Secondly…. If they did a CT in australia and one in bahrain, thats one hell of a lot of radiation. If one suffers from a concussion, you might get a head CT to rule out bleeding. The whole thing doesn’t add up to me. I am wondering if he has some other problems that might have shown up. I know he is a heavy smoker. Hope he has nothing else going on that might have warranted this decission.
      Last but not least, if he had possible spinal injuries, that might have been detected by an MRI and had him ruled out immediately after australia.
      Again…. Some of this doesn’t make sense.

      1. CT scans aren’t that bad for radiation…

        My guess is they’ll be looking at the condition of his ribs and upper spine… The force of the impacts would no doubt have caused other injuries…

      2. Alonso smokes?

      3. He does not smoke

      4. Wasn’t his seat broken in the crash? Could this of been the cause of an injury?

      5. What do by “I know he is a heavy smoker”?!

        1. Maybe it’s his Honda PU that he uses to smoke heavily.

      6. Driving 300kph to a wall does way more damage than simple radiaion from CT scan…

        1. Reading an interview with Alonso on another site, it would appear that he does indeed have some broken ribs and some lung injury (he received a small pneumothorax on a lung)…

          The concern appears to be the concern that the damaged ribs could shift during the race and cause more serious injury…

      7. “I know he is a heavy smoker.”

        Your knowledge is … suprising, to say the least. Did Fernando know that as well?

      8. He smokes? Where did you read that? If so should of stayed at Ferrari bet he could get crate loads of Marlboro’s for free.

        1. Saw him smoke his cigs in austin in 2012. Also read about his smoking habits a few years ago and i am sure i also saw a picture of him on his twitter account once smoking.

      9. Yeah 3 CT scans in the space of a month is a bit excessive, its roughly the equivalent of 6 years exposure to background radiation or over 70 chest x-rays.

        Hopefully he doesn’t come back glowing green ;-)

    10. It it the same crash that “wasn’t so bad” and was “blown out of proportion” according to fellow F1F users?

      I wish him a speedy recovery, he is not aiming for the championship so he can afford to sit a couple of races out. And we get to see Vandoorne!

      1. I always felt the first part of the crash was the worst, the hard hit into the wall, the rest after was spectacular but mostly dissipating energy.

      2. @afonic Well few years ago, or in another race car category bar LMP1, you would’ve expect much worse outcome.

    11. Good on F1 for being precautionary with this kind of stuff. It might be the case where he could actually race the car this weekend, but how would he fair in the worst case scenario if a similar incident happening two weekends apart. That’s the question that has to always be asked.

    12. Feel like screaming out, “Nothing makes sense…”! What’s going on? Why can’t the FIA be more specific as to what they mean by the “resolution of the signs”?

    13. Still amazes me how Webbo was able to keep in secret his fractured shoulder in 2010, bizarre procedures in F1…

      1. If he was on the race for the championship, I wouldn’t bet against him racing!

      2. @antoine-de-paris

        the big difference was that Webber’s accident wasn’t in the middle of a grand prix, which also stopped the race. Webber could keep it a secret – iirc, he didn’t tell the team. Also, if Alonso were in the 2010 RB6, I’m sure he’d be saying he’s fit as a fiddle, etc. Then again, MSC broke his leg in 1999 which probably cost him a WDC.

        The procedures are there for the protection of the driver. Last year Bottas had to demonstrate he could get out of the car in a specified period of time to be cleared to race. Alonso would have to do that as well. But imagine if Alonso had the same type of accident again, and his cracked rib turned into broken ribs, maybe punctured a lung, or maybe the car caught fire and he couldn’t get out, etc. We’d be having the “why didn’t the FIA keep him from racing?” A great example of this is Jules Bianchi – not a lot of push back from fans, etc. around how much cars backed off in yellow zones or double-waved yellows prior to his accident. But lots of calls for how irresponsible the FIA was in allowing the tractor out to move Sutil’s car, and not enforcing rules for drivers to slow more and so on.

        So let’s not question procedures put in place to protect drivers solely due to the inconvenience factor that we don’t get to see them race, etc. (not that regulations and procedures shouldn’t be questioned, and refined, to make them either stronger or more lenient as situations dictate).

      3. @antoine-de-paris Because there’s no reason for FIA to question and examined his health more than basic checkup at that time. Webber also got his injury outside of F1 while Alonso just involved in heavy accident few weeks prior.

    14. This worries me. Not because Stoffel won’t be capable of driving, but because Alonso is missing a race he should be doing for the second time in two years.

      In what shape is his body? How much more can he take? I fear it could be like in contact sports where you get too many blows to the head and you have to retire. Is his body calling it quits? If he has another accident this year, I could see him retiring mid-season.

      1. This is what I was thinking also. He turns 35 this summer and it doesn’t look like McLaren are going to win titles in the near future, and he has had 2 bad crashes in about a year so it wouldn’t surprise me if he considered retirement. I certainly would.

      2. this is not head-injury again so i wouldn’t be worried about what shape his body is in. If he had to sit-out with out any crash or another head related then that is worrisome, but this is clearly big crash and physical injuries are not unexpected.

    15. Well probably he could race.. But safety like this ensures he will be capable of racing when McLaren fights for more than just points…

      On the bright side… Stoffel in F1!!!! Nobody is more deserving of a chance. I hope he puts it on P6 like Grosjean did.. And show us how to properly drive a GP2 engine…

      And what if Alonso and Button just retired? Give young guns a chance? In any case I wish him good quality recovery. And safer driving next time.

      I am sure if car was 3s per lap faster he would be fit to drive it.

      1. it is hard to say, according to FIA statements something in CT scans showed he is unfit, i doubt any one show fitness thru those reports, its not his decision so 3s or 5 secs/lap faster FIA wouldn’t allow it.

      2. @jureo No. This is a competitive environment. If 100 years old can fight with the 20’s I’ll gladly support him. I rather have the field filled with the likes of JB and Alonso instead of Maldonado and Chilton.

    16. @jureo

      “And what if Alonso and Button just retired? Give young guns a chance?”

      A corollary to that question – who retired to give Alonso and Button a chance? If a younger driver isn’t making his mark in such a way that chances are being created for them (e.g., Verstappen, Vettel, Hamilton, etc.), why should established drivers do that favor for them?

      1. Drivers routinely used to retire age 30+…

        And in days of free testing many got a chance… but don’t get me wrong they both very much seem to deserve an F1 seat, so not a good example at all.

        1. Mansell and hill.. How old were they when they won wdcs? Go away with you agist beliefs.

        2. Actually, many drivers back in the day (from my slim knowledge of F1 history lol), actually were closer to 30 by the time the reached F1. Regardless, I think WDC and multi-race winning drivers are not the “routine” driver who would retire at 30 or so.

          Alonso and Button are proven entities and keep sponsors happy. SVd may become the next Vettel or he could become the next Sutil or DiResta (no disrespect to those drivers, but they’ve have their chances and while solid, they never shone). So he’s an unknown. But even other older drivers, like Massa, have a place on the grid, who brings in sponsor money which is important for his team, while also holding his own against one of the anointed young guns on the grid.

    17. I hope he returns fighting fit as soon as possible.
      But the situation make me ask a question. The competitors have five power units to last the 21 races this season. As I recall, it would have been only four units if there were 20 races. If Alonso is not going to enter the race this weekend, does that mean he is only eligible to have four PU’s for the season instead?

      1. @nickwyatt No, the rules say Vandoorne takes over his allocation for this event. Sporting regulation 23.4 (g):

        If a driver is replaced at any time during the championship season his replacement will
        be deemed to be the original driver for the purposes of assessing power unit usage.

        1. Aha! Thanks Keith.

    18. Further evidence that more safety improvements are needed, whether it be to car or track. It’s fantastic that he walked away, but they should be striving to make sure they can make it to every race.

      1. Of course they should aim for this but the safety standard now is incredible and amazingly will get even better. That type of crash is very hard to stop but he is still walking and fit just not to race an extreme track car 2 weeks later. Thing is if you can walk out of that crash skipping and jumping with no effects then car racing at the highest level will have people trying their luck every corner to either be a hero or if they crash nothing much will happen to them. Due to the physics involved there is no way a crash that big will go with someone completely unscathed.

    19. Is this a sign of how bad things are at McLaren? Surely they must have realised that this might occur, but it would appear not as Alonso’s replacement is flying in from Japan at the last minute! That can hardly be good preparation for your first F1 start. As a long time McLaren fan this does not seem like covering all eventualities.

    20. If I was Alonso I would race on Sunday! No question, if Dale Earnhardt could race at Watkins Glen with a broken sternum and clavicle in 1996 then surely Fernando could race Sunday

      1. It was a decision by the FIA.. Don’t think alonso would be allowed to race even if he insisted .. And any way without knowing what his condition is is a silly comment to make

      2. Not only race, but he put the dang thing on the pole.

        Although, to be fair. Earnhardt had to gave way to a relief driver the previous week at Indianapolis.

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