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Published: 15:38 | 12/4/16

Alonso still doubtful for China

Spaniard waiting on doctors' approval

Fernando Alonso remains unsure as to whether he will be cleared to compete at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Alonso suffered a spectacular and frightening crash at the season-opening race in Australia. The Spaniard fractured ribs and sustained lung-related injuries after colliding with Esteban Gutierrez's Hass machine before barrel-rolling across a gravel trap and slamming into barriers.

The 34-year-old, whose McLaren car was left destroyed by the incident, felt that he was fit to race at the subsequent Bahrain Grand Prix, but doctors from Formula 1's governing body ruled him out.

Despite returning to training, Alonso still has doubts over whether he will be allowed to take part in Shanghai this weekend.

"It was disappointing to be told I couldn't race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team," said the two-time world champion.

"While I hope I'll be back in the cockpit (for practice) on Friday, 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."

Alonso's replacement for the Bahrain event, Stoffel Vandoorne, managed to finish 10th and score a point for McLaren, having qualified in 12th place.

McLaren's other driver, Jenson Button, qualified 14th before retiring early in the race due to an engine failure.

"Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, and although Jenson suffered reliability issues, it was positive to see that both cars run quite strongly during the weekend," said Alonso.

"It was also interesting for me to see the race weekend unfold from a different perspective. It helped me to understand everything that goes into getting the cars on track and learn a lot about the different processes.”

By David Maher

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