Fernando Alonso expects green light for China, McLaren plans tests

McLaren will arrange further medical tests for Fernando Alonso ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, but believes he is confident of making his Formula 1 return at Shanghai

Fernando Alonso expects green light for China, McLaren plans tests

Alonso was ruled out of the Bahrain GP last Thursday after tests conducted at the circuit medical centre showed up a fractured rib in the wake of his violent crash in Australia.

With concerns over inflicting further damage should he be involved in another accident, Alonso made way for reserve Stoffel Vandoorne to make his debut.

Though McLaren will have further tests carried out in the days before China, it will only do a scan when appropriate to limit the amount of radiation Alonso is exposed to.

Ron Dennis: Teams should judge driver fitness, not the FIA

It is hoped the additional time out of the car will be sufficient for a full recovery, but the team knows Alonso's fate lies in the hands of the Shanghai track doctor who will make a judgement next Thursday.

Asked as to Alonso's chances of being ready, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said: "I think he's confident.

"But he's going to go through the scans. The FIA will inspect them and decide yes or no."

Pirelli has cited Alonso as McLaren's second driver for its Chinese GP tyre selections.

Alonso spent the remainder of the weekend helping the team and Vandoorne, who went on to qualify ahead of team-mate Jenson Button and finished 10th in the race.

Boullier can appreciate Alonso was probably frustrated, but added: "It was a good experience as well.

"He passed on some very nice comments on the radio. They were very constructive."

Alonso posted on his Instagram account on Wednesday to indicate that he had resumed training in preparation for China.

Boullier also feels Alonso's service over the weekend, rather than flying home, underlined his commitment to McLaren - which has sometimes been questioned.

"I never had any doubt about it. It's just you guys [the media]," said Boullier.

Boullier, meanwhile, has confirmed it is investigating Button's power unit that failed early in the race at Bahrain, with the possibility new parts may be needed going into the event in China.

While McLaren has clearly made progress this season, Vandoorne's point is the only one to the team's name from the opening two races.

Despite that, Boullier can see the positives.

"Our car performance, car balance are good, and the drivers were happy with the car," he added.

"When both the chassis and PU converge to something a little better then we'll be there.

"The fact we are fighting for points, already that's an improvement, and we know where we can gain.

"We know we don't have the most powerful PU, which is one of the reasons why we know we can make some gains from where we are today."

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