Eric Boullier, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2016

Alonso cleared to drive in China but faces more tests before race

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso will return to action in China this weekend after being cleared to participate following a medical check.

However the McLaren driver will undergo further medical examinations after tomorrow’s first practice session to determine whether he can continue to take part in the event.

Alonso missed the Bahrain Grand Prix due to rib injuries he suffered in his crash in Australia on March 20th. He underwent medical checks in Shanghai to determine whether he could compete safely this weekend.

The stewards noted Alonso was assessed in line with the FIA’s regulations governing the “reintegration” of drivers following severe accidents and was deemed to have “not strictly” satisfied the regulations. However they agreed he should be allowed to participate in the event “given the exceptional circumstances”.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2016
Alonso’s Melbourne crash ruled him out of Bahrain
Alonso was given an exemption from complying with article 3(b) of chapter II of appendix L of the International Sporting Code, which states: “in the case of incapacity for a period of ten days or longer, this [medical] control takes place in an identical fashion during the first competition in which the driver wishes to compete, after he has obtained certification of his recovery and confirmation of his reintegration from his ASN (national sporting authority).”

Instead the stewards applied article 3(a) of the same regulations, which states: “in the case of no incapacity or incapacity of less than ten days, a medical control will take place at the next competition in which the driver concerned is due to participate; this will be carried out under the authority of the FIA medical delegate and the chief medical officer.”

FIA statement on Alonso

Since the accident at the Australian Grand Prix, McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso has been undergoing the process of “Reintegration” in accordance with Chapter II of Appendix L of the International Sporting Code. McLaren Honda have applied for Alonso to participate in the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix.

As the injury to the driver was discovered some days after the Australian Grand Prix, the Reintegration does not strictly fall within the text of the Appendix. Therefore, the stewards have taken advice from the FIA medical delegate, who in consultation with the chief medical officer (CMO) of the Chinese Grand Prix and the driver’s doctors advise [sic] that he considers the driver provisionally fit to take part in the event. Given the exceptional circumstances, and having heard from the team, the stewards have decided to exempt the driver from strict compliance with Art. 3(b) of chapter II of appendix L, relying instead on Art. 3(a) which has been satisfied.

Therefore driver Fernando Alonso will be allowed to participate, subject to the provision below.

The driver has been given directions by the FIA medical delegate and CMO which he is to follow (Art. 12.1.1.i of the International Sporting Code*.) Further, in accordance with Art. 22.14 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations**, he is instructed by the FIA medical delegate and CMO to undergo a further examination immediately following FP1 to determine his further eligibility to take part in the remainder of the event.

*Article 12.1.1.i of the International Sporting Code defines “failure to follow the instructions of the relevant officials for the safe and orderly conduct of the event” as a breach of the rules.
**Article 22.14 of the Sporting Regulations states: “The race director, the clerk of the course or the FIA medical delegate can require a driver to have a medical examination at any time during an event.”

2016 Chinese 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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  • 46 comments on “Alonso cleared to drive in China but faces more tests before race”

    1. I wanted to see more of Vandoorne :( Maybe next year!

      1. @huhhii no way, Alonso wont retire unless McLaren forces him to, plus i think Button will continue to race.

    2. Well, Vandoorne’s F1 career was good whilst it lasted…

      1. @craig-o 100% points scores in his races, 100% finishing record, he’s a legend already.

        1. I have to laugh at you fickle people everytime you expect a seasoned driver to just step aside for a rookie. (Kobayashi, Haikkonen for example) Yeah, those worked out well. Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid with total dedication and deserves his seat. If you don’t respect that then you are not much of a fan.

          1. That being said, I do see Vandoorne’s racecraft and hope to see him with another team soon.

    3. He’s yet to be cleared by the two top medical doctors of F1 – Brundle and Herbert.

      1. Herbert will be too busy suggesting that Stoffel Vanoorne should retire as he clearly lacks motivation due to him not driving this weekend.

      2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        14th April 2016, 12:59

        Herbert is the (self appointed) F1 drivers’ motivational speaker

      3. I think both Herbert and Brundle will need to give Alonso the go ahead to race, but not as the qualified medical practitioners they are, but as experts of the right amount of motivation levels required by drivers to be in Formula 1.

      4. Alonso is quoted on Autosport as saying that he was still in a lot of pain in Bahrain, and it is only in the last couple of days that he has been able to sleep on both sides.

        I think this tells us all we need to know about how much commitment Alonso has for the sport, despite what some sideline commentators might want to suggest.

        1. Lol to be fair to MB, he disagreed with JH wrt his opinion on FA’s lack of motivation and impending throwing in of the towel.

        2. Completely agreed , Alonso’s dedication to Mclaren Honda project is undoubtable

    4. Stoff will be in next year, no worries, and Mac will be £10m better off.

      Now let’s just hope the car gives the two wdc’s a clean race.

      1. @lockup
        I really dont get the hype around VAN and I dont think he should be driving for McLaren next year. I know his stats in lower formula are impressive, but F1 is a different kind of ballgame. Previous success doesn’t neccessarily translate to success in F1. And as we saw in Bahrain, he made a solid debut, but it was jut that. He didn’t set the world on fire with his speed or skills, he needs more time in a real F1 car to gain more experience, and I dont think McLaren should diss any of its WDCs just to groom a CURRENTLY lesser driver. There are other teams for that, and they should try to get VAN a seat at another not so tightly engaged team, even if it means throwing some money at them.

        1. True we’d have had more perspective if JB had finished @bag0, but Vandoorne was pretty good in Bahrain. Ran wide once, apparently (I didn’t see it) otherwise he was looking good in traffic and it was his first race.

          JB and even FA will be getting more error-prone, as they all do from around their mid-30’s. Next year Stoff will be 25 and JB 37, and Jenson wasn’t absolutely top tier in his prime.

          Mac will have all kinds of data from the simulator, so I reckon it’ll be a good choice.

          1. I too think that if they are done with JB and he with them, they might as well use VAN…was going to say SV but…

            I didn’t pay a ton of attention but from what I did read it sounds like Mac were mighty impressed given the huge lack of car time he got, and what he did with it. Not saying they need to ‘diss’ JB in favour of Van, but I sure don’t agree that Van should go elsewhere first…where?…and why?…he’s 25 and talented so probably would have no problem at Mac. There’s a teenager full time on the track after all. And Mac could mould him to F1 in his maiden season as they see fit…ie. their way.

          2. @lockup @robbie
            Maybe you are right, it depends on the timing. If they can have at least one driver they can rely on, they could drop one WDC, but its still a bit risky. Eversince Hamilton left the team, they try to fill up his seat, but look at what happened to Perez or Magnussen. Oh and I also dont agree with the way Verstappen was put in the TR. He had a lot of time to gain more experience, and the minibulls shouldn’t have put two unknown quantities in the cars at the same time.

        2. I disagree 100%. I think your opinion is based on false assumptions instead of facts

          I think most would disagree SV had just a “solid” debut in Bahrain. Given all the circumstances and taking in all the factors it was an amazing debut. To come straight from the plane into a car he’s never driven before and out-qualify Button straight away and then race to the max of the car’s potential-that’s amazing debut in my book. This debut for me only means one thing: irrespective of what happens later in the year, this is Button’s last year at Mclaren. They will never be able to justify keeping him for 2017 instead of Vandoorne. SV has bigger potential than Button has ever shown frankly this is Hamilton’s caliber , multiple champion in waiting driver. I’ve seen nothing so far in his career to doubt that

          1. @bag0 This comment was meant for you

          2. @montreal95
            He did a good job at qualy, I give you that, but the fact he gave a tenth to JB only one time the whole weekend is not that much (considering JB was up half a sec in most sessions, and I suspect he could have improved in the old/new qualy system). Also, you say he has not driven this car yet. I think he drove atleast as much if not even more in the simulator than JB and FA. But not considering the simulator time, the other drivers have only one GP weekend experience with the new car. So as I said, a solid debut, nothing more. Also note, I did not say he was bad, I just cant accept the needless hype whenever we have a promising talent.

        3. Is it not better to write Stoffel Vandoorne as StV rather than SV since we have a multi-champion driver in the name of Sebastian Vettel who got here first? And so the initials SV for sake of clarity is more inclined to him.

        4. Well you are wrong.. Vandoorne killed it in GP2 in what was a very competitive field. I think he is the most F1 ready driver in the last decade.

          He records in GP2 are:
          -Most points in a season.
          -Most total points in GP2 career (his spanning only 2 years) runners up are multi year GP2ers
          -1 lap shy of Most fastest laps again in way less seasons then other runner ups.
          -Most podiums in a season
          -Most podiums total GP2 career again against guys with more years in GP2
          -Most consecutive poles
          -Most total poles
          -Most total win in feature races
          -Most total wins overall races

          1. @dubsix
            Yes, I know. I said: “I know his stats in lower formula are impressive, but F1 is a different kind of ballgame. Previous success doesn’t neccessarily translate to success in F1.” Let me bring you a few examples: Kovalainen (runner up), Piquet (runner up), DiGrassi (runner up), Glock (champ), Senna (runner up), Petrov (runner up), Maldonado (champ), Nasr (3rd), Palmer (champ). Now I know Vandoorne might be a LOT better than them, but I think you get my point.

            Strictly speaking about skill levels, GP2 is not the front door to F1, it is more like the last turn you take before you enter the street that leads to the house. The races are longer, the competition is bigger and every mistake they make can break ther career.

            So I say, put him in a midfield team, where he can shine, but can hide his occasional mistakes that will wear off with more experience. (I know McLaren is a midfielder right now, but a very high profile at that one).

            1. Maldonado was champ after more than two seasons… ircc same with Glock & Palmer. Runners up don’t figure in my argument.. Van demolished Lewis’ GP2 records as well as everyone else… he’s bettered everyone record in GP2. I think looking back Lewis’ performed quite well as have other guys who didn’t have the stats that Van does.. look at Ricciardo and Verstappen. Van doesn’t need to spend anytime in minor teams he is ready for the big leagues now.

    5. So weird that that there isn’t a single mention of a lung nor rib nor any medical term. Just this regulatory gibberish. The FIA should be embarrassed.

      Thanks for the translation here!

    6. I don’t really understand any of that. Hopefully we see him racing tho! I’ll be happy just seeing him on the car in practice, after such a terrible accident.

    7. Therefore driver Fernando Alonso will be allowed to participate, subject to the provision below.

      So there is still uncertainty then? Ugh.. typical FIA !#$#%@ BS

      1. @coldfly

        Thanks for the blockquote tip :)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          15th April 2016, 9:27

          URwelcome @todfod.

          PS – congrats with your COTD. Hope you recuperated from having to explain the ‘show’ part over and over again ;-)

    8. Sorry Alonso but I would like to see Vandoorne please , rest some more ;)

      1. For most drivers I would agree but Alonso is one of the best. Familiarity breeds contempt I suppose, forget the current quality we want to just see something new? Imagine if Penske decides to do a Haas maybe he could fit in there.

        1. For me Alonso was at his prime at 2005-2008. I loved all his battles with Kimi in those years, but unfortunately I don’t see that fighting spirit in him anymore, it is almost like he lost the motivation to win.

          I am not saying this because he is now fighting in a not so capable car but even in his Ferrari years , it wasn’t the Alonso I knew.

    9. Faces more tests before the race…sobriety test? math test? taste test? They’ll test his patience? Sorry…just the first thing I thought of when I read that headline.

      1. @robbie ‘If he cannot solve this quadratic equation he cannot drive, I’m sorry’

      2. He has to translate all of Appendix L of the International Sporting Code into emoji.

        1. After reading this, I eagerly await his next emoji installment…

          1. Maybe he has to pass the required limit for getting the words ‘for sure’ in a sentence?

          2. @bullfrog Me also LMAO.

    10. Testing times for Alonso in McLaren.

    11. Translation – They will check him out after FP1 and see how the driving affected his injuries.

    12. I just wonder how his ribs will cope when the car starts pulling 4 Gs going around a corner.

    Comments are closed.