Alonso out of Bahrain GP, Vandoorne in

It’s been a tough beginning to the season for Fernando Alonso in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. After the massive crash in this season’s opening race in Australia, Alonso has had further medical tests and McLaren released a statement:

“Following an examination undertaken this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit Medical Centre, it has been decided that McLaren Honda F1 Team driver Fernando Alonso should not take part in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“Two sets of chest CT scans were compared and it was decide that there was insufficient resolution of the signs to allow him to compete on safety grounds.

“A repeat chest scan has been requested before the Chinese Grand Prix and the results will be considered before allowing him to race there.”

I’m not sure what issue this statement is referring to with regards to his chest but my immediate worry was concussion given the violent nature of the wreck and compound with his concussion from last years incident (that prompted him to miss the first race of the 2015 season), I was very concerned about the cumulative effect. There is no mention of a concussion in the McLaren statement, rather concerns over his chest.

Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will now stand in for Alonso and make his debut in Formula 1 at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the second race of the season.

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Dr T

My guess would be a pulmonary contusion (bruising/bleeding to the lung) – that’d be what they would see that they would want to see resolve in time. Fractures take 6 weeks (as a general rule)… I guess the other things it’d be would be something like a small pneumothorax (air around the top of the lung), but he didn’t end up in hospital post crash so that’d be less likely

Dr T

Turns out I wasn’t far off….

Luckily he didn’t get into trouble on the plane flight home with the changes in air pressure in the cabin and his pneumothorax

Daniel Johnson

Good catch. The ribs shouldn’t take the full 6 weeks, if their stable he can wear a flack jacket and it’s down to pain management. I can’t imagine them letting him drive with pain killers though, maybe a cortisone shot?

The worry is that the ribs could either puncture the lung or the lungs are recovered enough.


Nope, it’s always Lupus.

Scott Crawford

2 big shunts causing missed races, 2 dismal seasons in an uncompetitive car, a relationship with Ron that was never going to be great (even the shaggy, unshaven look is like a middle finger up at Mclaren)

Does anyone else get the feeling Alonso is going out with a fizzle? Shame.

I have to think the only reason he is at that team is that his pedigree and price tag gave legitimacy to the Honda project. They were never going to be in a position to make use of his talents before he retires…


The move to McLaren hasn’t worked out well for Alonso. It does look as if his career could just fizzle out there, if they can’t turn the p.u problems around.
I’m pretty sure that when McLaren signed up the deal with Honda they had (still have) every expectation that they’d be competitive by now, and racing for wins this or next season. So I don’t imagine they hired Alonso just to legitimise a dog of a project.


It just goes to show the power of Grace picking Fernando for first out.

Seriously, at least McLaren have a nominated reserve driver who has a super licence, not all teams are in that position.


What? How does that work? If the reserve driver has no super licence, does that mean they could not race the car?

Tom Firth

It means you hired the ‘reserve’ driver for other reasons than to drive the car ;-) and you bring a driver in from outside, should the requirement ever occur.

Thankfully Mclaren have been sensible, and have a hugely talented ‘reserve’ driver to take over in this unfortunate situation.


Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Sauber have no nominated reserve driver according to Forix. Meanwhile Williams, McLaren and Manor have two reserve drivers each. The other teams have one reserve driver each. What I don’t know is how many of these individuals are eligible for super licences.

Tom Firth

Hmm not certain. Williams & Mclaren certainly differentiate its drivers as ‘Development driver’ and ‘reserve drivers’ I think it is Di Resta at Williams, not Lynn that is the teams named reserve driver. Lynn should be eligible for a Superlicense too however.

Mclaren has Vandoorne as the driver who is a ‘reserve’ not a ‘development driver’ according to them. Manor has Rossi who will have a Super License still. Jordan King will not I don’t believe.


Not official, but as close to accurate as you’re likely to find…


Yes, thankfully they have another huge talent to waste on an underperforming car. Phew! ;-)

Tom Firth

Indeed… sadly.


There goes Graces first out points for this week

Paul KieferJr

Uh, oh. This is gonna hurt McLaren big time. I hope VDO can deliver some good results.