McLaren have confirmed that Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit at the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend subject to a final FIA medical assessment on Thursday.
Meanwhile McLaren have made public the fact that the Spaniard has recalled ‘heavy steering’ on his McLaren Honda MP4-30 in the moments before the crash leading to his team adding further measuring equipment to the car.
Alonso has spent more time with doctors than engineers following his Barcelona testing accident last month but his eagerly anticipated race return with McLaren will finally happen on Sunday assuming he clears a final hurdle this week.
The double world champion will be assessed by the FIA Medical Delegate at the Sepang circuit on Thursday after which the team expects he will take the wheel of the Honda powered MP4-30 on Friday morning.
An official explanation for Alonso’s accident has yet to be presented though team boss Ron Dennis continues to rubbish all suggestions of electrocution and McLaren have fitted extra measuring equipment to help monitor the car’s behaviour.
“While there was nothing evident in the extensive car telemetry data, nor anything abnormal in the subsequent reconstructions and laboratory tests, Fernando recalls a sense of ‘heavy’ steering prior to the accident,” a team statement said. “Consequently, the team has fitted an additional sensor to the car, to increase our data capture.”
The team insists that Alonso has been closely monitored and extensively tested and prepared for his return.
“Since his Barcelona testing accident, Fernando has followed a rigorous, specialised training programme, designed and closely monitored by leading sports scientists, to ensure his safe and timely return to racing.”
Alonso spent time in the McLaren simulator last week during which he was fully briefed on progress made since his last on track appearance. The team reports that time was spent with team personnel analysing his accident with all data has been made available to the FIA.