The Spaniard was ruled out of last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix on medical grounds having suffered cracked ribs and a collapsed lung in a heavy accident during the Australian Grand Prix a fortnight earlier. With Alonso keen to race through the pain, McLaren requested the FIA reconsider its decision but in the end had to run reserve driver Vandoorne.
Asked if Alonso – who posted about his return to training on Instagram – is confident of returning in China, racing director Eric Boullier replied: “Yeah, I think so.
“He is going to go again for some scans and then the FIA will inspect them and decide yes or no.
“Yeah [it was frustrating for him], but it was a good experience as well. He enjoyed being around and he made some very nice comments on the radio.”
And Boullier says Vandoorne’s performance – scoring a point on debut having outqualified team-mate Jenson Button – gives McLaren confidence if Alonso is again ruled out.
“Now you know what he went through and he is obviously only going to be better, if he is racing again, which we don’t wish, but if he has to, the team is now confident he can do the job.”
Vandoorne himself said after the race he believes his performance had proven he is deserving of an F1 seat. The Belgian will race full-time in Japan’s Super Formula this season.
Know more about Sport360 Application