Fernando Alonso has been given the green light to return to the McLaren cockpit for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, though a final decision on whether he starts the race will be dependent on another medical assessment after first free practice.
The Spaniard was withdrawn from the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this month following the belated discovery of rib fractures he sustained in his monster Australian Grand Prix shunt, with the FIA Medical Delegate deeming him unfit to race as a result.
Though expected to return for the third round in China, Alonso still required a further medical assessment, which he has provisionally cleared.
However, due to the lateness of the injury being discovered, it does not 'strictly fall with the text of the Appendix' which determines a driver's 'Reintegration' to competition. As a result, Alonso has only been cleared to drive the car in FP1 before he will undergo another assessment to determine whether he can go ahead and race.
“Since the accident at the Australian Grand Prix, McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando
“Alonso has been undergoing the process of “Reintegration” in accordance with Chapter II of Appendix L of the International Sporting Code. McLaren Honda have applied for Alonso to participate in the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix.
“As the injury to the driver was discovered some days after the Australian Grand Prix, the Reintegration does not strictly fall within the text of the Appendix. Therefore, the Stewards have taken advice from the FIA Medical Delegate, who in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Chinese Grand Prix and the driver's doctors advise that he considers the driver provisionally fit to take part in the event.
“Given the exceptional circumstances, and having heard from the team, the Stewards have decided to exempt the driver from strict compliance with Art. 3(b) of Chapter II of Appendix L, relying instead on Art. 3(a) which has been satisfied.
“Therefore driver Fernando Alonso will be allowed to participate, subject to the provision below.
The driver has been given directions by the FIA Medical Delegate and CMO which he is to follow (Art. 12.1.1.i of the International Sporting Code.) Further, in accordance with Art. 22.14 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations, he is instructed by the FIA Medical Delegate and CMO to undergo a further examination immediately following FP1 to determine his further eligibility to take part in the remainder of the Event.”
Alonso was replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne in Bahrain, with the 2015 GP2 champion proceeding to finish 10th for a point on his debut.
See also: Alonso says he feels physically “100 per cent” ready for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix