Fernando Alonso not taking Chinese GP F1 return for granted

Fernando Alonso is refusing to get his hopes up as he awaits medical clearance to return to the McLaren Formula 1 cockpit in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso not taking Chinese GP F1 return for granted

The Spaniard was ruled out of the Bahrain GP on medical grounds after tests revealed a fractured rib in the wake of his huge crash in Australia.

Reserve Stoffel Vandoorne flew in from Japan, where he was involved in Super Formula testing, to replace Alonso and scored a point on his debut.

Alonso will be assessed again by the on-site medical team at Shanghai on Thursday, with their decision about his Chinese GP participation final.

Ron Dennis: Teams not FIA should judge driver fitness

"It was disappointing to be told I couldn't race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team," said Alonso.

"While I hope I'll be back in the cockpit on Friday, until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race - whenever that may be - we cannot assume anything, but I'm continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal."

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said Vandoorne will once again be on standby.

"Stoffel did a fantastic job to score his and the team's first championship point of the year, in his debut grand prix," he said.

"Once again, Stoffel will be on standby until Fernando has his routine meeting with FIA doctors on Thursday, and until then we will be readying ourselves as normal.

"Fernando has been recuperating at home and training as usual, and we, like him, hope to see him back in the car.

"We'll accept the outcome - whatever that may be - and plan accordingly."

Alonso also praised Vandoorne's performance in Bahrain while adding he was able to learn plenty despite not driving.

"Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, and although Jenson [Button] suffered reliability issues, it was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend," he said.

"It was also interesting for me to see the race weekend unfold from a different perspective, which helped me to understand everything that goes into getting the cars on track and learn a lot about the different processes, although I'd still prefer to be racing."

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