FORMULA 1

Alonso to miss Bahrain Grand Prix due to Australia horror crash

FIA doctors won’t allow Spanish Formula 1 star to race after extensive medical examination

Alonso in Bahrain this morning.
Alonso in Bahrain this morning.Mark Thompson (Getty)

Spanish Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso will not be taking part this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the second race of the 2016 season. The decision was made after doctors from the sport’s governing body, the FIA, refused his authorization to drive, as a result of the huge accident he was involved in during the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne nearly two weeks ago.

The crash saw Alonso’s McLaren collide with the Haas of Esteban Gutiérrez, launching the car into the air before it came crashing down into a gravel trap and a wall. The Spanish former world champion was traveling at nearly 300km/h when the incident took place.

McLaren has already announced that GP2 champion Stoffel Vandorne, from Belgium, will take his place, thus marking his F1 debut.

Alonso arrived at the Sakhir circuit on Thursday morning, and went to the medical offices of the FIA, where he spent an hour-and-a-half. When he left, he refused to make a statement to the press. But reportedly, the doctors who examined him found that he was still suffering problems in his neck as a result of the terrifying crash.

A press release from the FIA read: “Following an examination undertaken this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit Medical Center, it has been decided that McLaren Honda F1 Team driver Fernando Alonso should not take part in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“Two sets of chest CT scans were compared and it was decide that there was insufficient resolution of the signs to allow him to compete on safety grounds.

“A repeat chest scan has been requested before the Chinese Grand Prix and the results will be considered before allowing him to race there.”

This is not the first time that Alonso has missed the beginning of a season. Last year he had to sit out the first race in Australia after a mysterious crash during testing at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona, which left him hospitalized for three days with memory loss. The full causes and details of that crash were never made completely clear either by the driver or the team.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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