Stoffel Vandoorne set for F1 debut as Alonso ruled out


McLaren Honda reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will make his Formula 1 race debut this weekend in Bahrain as the FIA have ruled out Fernando Alonso on medical grounds.

In a press release from the FIA it reads:

Following an examination undertaken this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit Medical Centre, 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 compare and it was decided that there was insufficient resolution of the signs to allow him to compete on safety ground.

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

Following the announcement the McLaren team revealed on twitter that Vandoorne will be stepping in for the injured Alonso:

Alonso was hoping to put the Australian Grand Prix behind him after he crashed heavily after colliding with the back of Esteban Gutierrez’s HAAS, the impact of the accident saw Alonso’s McLaren slide towards the gravel trap before being pitched in to a violent barrel role.

Thankfully he walked away from the accident but has been suffering since; it was reported earlier this week that the Spaniard has had trouble sleeping since the accident and been unable to train properly.

Vandoorne had been in Okayama, Japan testing the Super Formula car he will be racing this season and was due to join the team later this week.