Madrid: Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso is set to return to the track for the second Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia, his McLaren-Honda team confirmed on Monday.
Fernando Alonso. Pic/AFP
Alonso missed the season opening race in Australia after suffering concussion in a testing accident last month. "McLaren-Honda is pleased to announce that, subject to a successful final FIA medical assessment this Thursday 26th March at the Sepang International Circuit, Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit of his MP4-30 car for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix," the team said in a statement.
The Spaniard crashed into a wall when he ran wide on the final day of the second pre-season test in Barcelona on February 22nd. He had to be airlifted to hospital under sedation and spent three nights there. He then missed the final pre-season test as well as the Australian Grand Prix under doctors orders to rest and recuperate. McLaren also confirmed Alonso drove the team's simulator last week as he built-up his preparation for a return to action.
On top of Alonso's crash, McLaren have suffered an awful start to their new partnership with Honda as engine suppliers. Alonso's replacement in Melbourne, Kevin Magnussen, had to retire before the race had even started due to a mechanical problems, whilst Jenson Button finished last of the 11 cars to complete the race.
The 33-year-old has only just begun his second spell with the Woking-based team after an ill-fated one-season stint in 2007 when McLaren were expelled from the constructors' championship and fined a record $100 million for spying on confidential technical information from Ferrari.