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Alonso cleared provisionally for China return

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McLaren Honda's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, who suffered a sickening crash at the season opener in Australia, will undergo further tests after the Chinese Grand Prix's first free practice to determine his "further eligibility". PHOTO/AFP.

McLaren Honda’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, who suffered a sickening crash at the season opener in Australia, will undergo further tests after the Chinese Grand Prix’s first free practice to determine his “further eligibility”. PHOTO/AFP.

SHANGHAI, April 14 – Former world champion Fernando Alonso has been provisionally cleared to return for McLaren at this week’s Chinese Grand Prix, Formula One’s ruling FIA said Thursday.

The double world champion, who suffered a sickening crash at the season opener in Australia, will undergo further tests after Friday’s first free practice to determine his “further eligibility”.

Alonso insisted he was “120 percent ready” to compete in Shanghai.

“I feel good,” said the Spaniard, who sat out the Bahrain race two weeks ago with a fractured rib after failing a medical.

“I was mentally 100 percent in Bahrain but physically in a lot of pain,” added the 34-year-old.

“I was ready to try and see if the pain was manageable with the rib broken, but now I’m mentally 120 percent and physically 100 percent. The pain level is zero.”

Alonso’s McLaren flipped and went into a terrifying roll in Melbourne after he clipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas at close to 200mph, but the two-time champion crawled from the wreckage before walking away.

He showed no ill signs on Thursday.

“It’s been the normal routine the last two weeks running, bicycle, golf, tennis,” Alonso told reporters. “I’ve been sleeping okay for the last two weeks as well.

“I feel I will be 100 percent. If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t fly here. I will see how it goes after a few laps. If it’s not okay I will be the first to say.”

McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne took Alonso’s place in Bahrain and scored a point on his debut.

 

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