FIA reject McLaren call for Alonso to race in Bahrain


The FIA have rejected calls from the McLaren-Honda team to allow Fernando Alonso to race at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, insisting that the doctor’s orders are final.

Alonso suffered broken ribs during his violent Australian Grand Prix crash with Esteban Gutierrez, and was not cleared to race by doctors on Thursday ahead of the Grand Prix in Bahrain, with Stoffel Vandoorne stepping in to make his Grand Prix debut in his place.

But McLaren boss Ron Dennis and team manager Dave Redding were in discussion with FIA representatives on Friday to see whether there would be a chance for Alonso to resume his driving duties on Saturday, but these calls were rejected, with Vandoorne now set to race for the whole weekend.

FIA President Jean Todt revealed that the doctor’s orders for Alonso to sit out the event were final, and that had Alonso been allowed to race, it would not have been a wise decision on the part of officials, driver or team.

“It is a complete decision [by] the doctors,” said Todt to Motorsport.com. “It is something that I discussed yesterday with the president of the medical commission, Gerard Saillant, and probably we should make one step forward in a deeper check after such an accident.

“Maybe something we need to think is make sure that the driver is followed very carefully for two, three or four days after such an incident.

“But from what I understand, it is a very wise decision [to not allow Alonso to race] and the doctors will never consider giving an authorisation unless all the evidence is very clear to them.”