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