McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will sit out this weekend’s 2016 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix after a medical examination at the Sakhir circuit Thursday morning after which it was decided that the driver has not recovered satisfactorily following his crash in Australia . The FIA made the announcement via an emailed press release.
“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,” read the FIA statement. “A repeat chest scan has been requested before the Chinese Grand prix and the results will be considered before allowing him to race there.”
Because of the restriction McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will make his Grand Prix debut this weekend, replacing Alonso the team said. Vandoorne was flying to Bahrain and will take part in the free practice on Friday.
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.
Even though his car was in a mangled heap, Alonso was able to climb unassisted from the wreckage. Gutierrez was soon also climbing from his car as the safety car was deployed on the track. Gutierrez immediately ran to Alonso to check on his condition and both men hugged briefly. Alonso later said the crash was nothing more than a racing incident.
“We both tried to fight and obviously sometimes we forget we are at 300km/h and every little crash can become much bigger,” Alonso said. . “I took the slipstream as late as I could, until the breaking point, and in the last moment it was a combination of factors that we ended up with a crash.
“I think it is a racing incident. It’s tough, and the same for him [Gutierrez] – but we are both happy and talking here, that’s the really important point.”
Alonso met with the media Thursday in Bahrain shortly after the announcement by the FIA. He revealed the extent of his injuries among other things.