Alonso: I’ll be Fern ’n dandy for Malaysia

FOR­MULA ONE

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

FER­NANDO ALONSO in­sists he’ll only miss one race, and will back in his McLaren in Malaysia.

The team con­tinue to play down fears over the Spa­niard’s long-term health af­ter he smashed into the wall on the fi­nal day of the sec­ond pre­sea­son test last month.

But there is still fever­ish spec­u­la­tion as to the ex­act cause of the crash – and to Alonso’s on­go­ing con­di­tion,

McLaren claimed a freak gust of wind forced him off track, deny­ing the in­ci­dent was caused by me­chan­i­cal or elec­tri­cal fail­ure.

But ques­tions re­main as to why the 33-year-old needed to spend three nights in hos­pi­tal on the back of con­flict­ing sto­ries as to whether he had suf­fered con­cus­sion.

Doc­tors have since ad­vised him to miss the sea­son opener in Aus­tralia this week­end to avoid any last­ing dam­age.

But Alonso in­sists it’s only a pre­cau­tion and he’ll be back in ac­tion for the next race in Malaysia in two weeks’ time.

Sup­port

He said: “Of course, I’m very dis­ap­pointed not to be join­ing Jen­son But­ton in Mel­bourne, but I un­der­stand the doc­tors’ rec­om­men­da­tions and I’m al­ready back in train­ing and pre­par­ing for my first race in the car.

“I would like to thank ev­ery­body for their kind wishes and sup­port, and I’ll be giv­ing ev­ery­thing to be back in the cock­pit for Malaysia.”

With re­serve driver Kevin Mag­nussen set to deputise in Mel­bourne, Alonso added: “I wish Kevin all the best for this week­end – I know the car will be in his safe hands.

“Even though we faced a lot of chal­lenges in the tests, I’m very en­cour­aged by the feel­ing I got from the car.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to go­ing through all of the data from this week­end with the team to con­tinue our push to im­prove per­for­mance.”

Mag­nussen ad­mits he has mixed feel­ings about get­ting a drive.

“I’m re­ally pleased to be be­hind the wheel with McLaren-Honda again,” said the Dane.

“The rea­son I am here is an un­usual one, but my job is to do the best I can for the team while Fer­nando is out of the cock­pit, and that’s what I’ll do.”

OUT OF AC­TION: Alonso

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