LONDON (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso hopes to be racing for McLaren at this weekend’s Chinese Formula One Grand Prix but the Spaniard says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of a fitness test at the Shanghai circuit.
The double world champion fractured his ribs in a crash at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 20 and the governing FIA’s medical team then ruled him out of the subsequent race in Bahrain.
He will undergo more tests at the Chinese circuit on Thursday before the third round of the 21-race season.
“It was disappointing to be told I couldn’t race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team,” he said on Tuesday in a team preview for the race.
“While I hope I’ll be back in the cockpit on Friday (for practice), until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race, whenever that may be, we cannot assume anything.
“But I’m continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal.”
The Spaniard was replaced in Bahrain by the team’s Belgian reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who ended up 10th to score McLaren’s first point of the season after team mate Jenson Button failed to finish.
The Belgian remains on standby for China.
Alonso had stayed on at the Sakhir circuit to assist Vandoorne on his debut, and watched the race unfold from the pitwall.
“It was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend,” he said.
“It was also interesting for me to see the race weekend unfold from a different perspective, which helped me to understand everything that goes into getting the cars on track and learn a lot about the different processes.”
Alonso has won twice before in China, once with Ferrari and once with Renault.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Andrew Heavens