McLaren driver Fernando Alonso met with the media Thursday in Bahrain site of this weekend’s Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix shortly after the FIA announced that Alonso will not be allowed to race this weekend. The decision came after a medical examination at the Sakhir circuit Thursday morning.
The two-time world champion said he was “sad and disappointed” with the outcome, but respects the FIA’s decision. He said he was still in pain from the accident, especially the left side of his rib cage.
“It is understandable and I respect the decision,” Alonso said. “I was ready to go through the pain in the car and make sure I could race.”
Alonso said medical tests during the past week revealed he had a pneumothorax, air in the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall, and that getting back in the cockpit would have been too risky.
“I have a broken rib and I’m in some pain so it’s not easy to sleep,” said Alonso. “I would like to sit in the car and see how is the pain in the car and enjoy driving the car. You understand this is motorsport, every time you step in the car it is a risk.”
Alonso suffered his injures during the season opening race in Australia. On lap 19 the US backed Haas F1 car of Esteban Gutierrez was involved in an accident with Alonso. Alonso was running behind Gutierrez as the pair approached Turn 3 at race speed. Alonso overtook the Gutierrez car at speed as they neared the braking zone. The car of Alonso was sent into the left hand wall as Gutierrez spun into the corner. The car of Gutierrez slid to a stop but the car of Alonso continued sideways into a gravel trap at the end of the straight. He began to barrel roll; the car was finally launched airborne and came to rest against the tire barrier at the end of the gravel trap.
Alonso will need to undergo and pass a medical exam and further tests before the Chinese Grand Prix on 17-19 April. The Spaniard missed the season opening race in 2015 after suffering injuries in a crash during preseason testing.
“I am disappointed,” Alonso said. “We want to race, we love the sport, so when you come here and you cannot even try, it is always sad – but it is understandable.
“I respect the decision,” he added. “It has been some painful days with some pain at home, but I was ready to work with this pain somehow in the car and make sure I could race because at the end of the day the pain is manageable if you don’t think so much.
“But there is some risk.”