Fernando Alonso is set to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix on medical grounds following his horrific crash at the season opener in Australia.
The McLaren driver suffered fractures to his ribs in the 180MPH crash at the season opener in Melbourne. The accident occurred when his car barrel rolled into the gravel at turn three after colliding with the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez. Sensors on the destroyed McLaren measured the peek impact at around 47G.
Alonso was put through a standard medical check at the Sakhir circuit today. The medical check is the same one carried out on all drivers following heavy impacts and accidents, in accordance with FIA guidelines. Alonso failed the medical check and as such is barred from competing in the Bahrain Grand Prix on medical grounds.
The FIA released a statement regarding the decision which said, “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.”
This is the second time in just over a year that Alonso has been forced to miss a Grand Prix on medical grounds. He previously sat out the 2015 season opener in Australia following a heavy crash during pre-season testing.
However, one driver’s bad luck is another driver’s good luck. Current GP2 champion and McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne is set to replace Alonso for his debut Grand Prix weekend. Vandoorne was originally testing with the SuperFormula series in Japan, but will now take an overnight flight to be out in Bahrain in time for the first free practice session tomorrow.
About to board for Bahrain, a bit earlier than expected but so much looking forward to it! Will do my very best for the team @McLarenF1!
— Stoffel Vandoorne (@svandoorne) March 31, 2016
Vandoorne is regarded as a highly talented rookie, and is hotly tipped to be the driver to replace McLaren veteran Jenson Button for the 2017 season. This debut race weekend will provide him the opportunity to showcase his talents not just to McLaren but other perspective teams on the grid.
Feature Image credit: McLaren Honda Press Release