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Alonso set for Malaysia return

23 Mar 2015

Fernando Alonso will be back in race action in Malaysia this weekend providing he passes final medical tests, McLaren have confirmed.

Alonso was forced to sit out the 2015 Australian season-opener on medical advice after suffering concussion in a February testing crash in Spain, but McLaren say he is now ready to drive in Kuala Lumpur subject to clearance from F1 governing body the FIA.

"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.

"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."

McLaren said that Alonso could recall a "sense of 'heavy' steering" prior to his accident, and that as a result an additional sensor will be fitted to their cars.

"At the McLaren Technology Centre last week, Fernando met with his engineers and drove the simulator, to bring him up to date with the latest developments on the MP4-30 chassis and power unit," the team explained. 

"As part of that process he spent time with senior engineers, discussing the accident and reviewing the comprehensive data and analysis, all of which has been shared with the FIA.

"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. Consequently, the team has fitted an additional sensor to the car, to increase our data capture.

"Fernando is very much looking forward to getting back into the car and making a substantial contribution to our collective efforts with Honda, to accelerate the required improvement to our on-track performance."

McLaren struggled throughout the opening weekend in Melbourne, qualifying on the back row and then losing Kevin Magnussen - who stood in for Alonso - on the way to the grid with power unit problems. Jenson Button was able to finish the race, but was lapped twice.