Fernando Alonso was ruled out from taking part in this week’s Bahrain GP following a scan which revealed he has broken ribs after his massive crash in Australia. Speaking to the media, the Spaniard explained: “To summarise a little, last week [in Australia] I was okay Sunday – some knee pain but not big things. I had the green light to leave the track and everything was okay.”
“On Monday I had a bit of overall pain, nothing too serious. Then I flew back, arrived in Spain and the pain was a little more, so we did a proper check and I had a small pneumothorax [collapse] on the lung.
“We took advice from the doctors to relax at home and repeat the scan last Monday – the pneumothorax is gone more or less but I had some rib fractures. And because F1 is a very unique position in the car, and with the g-forces, there was a risk the fractures could move into the lung.
“It’s not like broken leg or arm where you can deal with the pain; it’s the chest where there are organs, so we cannot do much more.”
Depending on the severity of the breaks, ribs can take 6-8 weeks to heal completely and Alonso is uncertain as to whether he will be fit to drive at the next GP in China. “It is not 100 percent – it will be another test I need to do in the next eight or 10 days and after that the FIA will evaluate again, as they did today.
“I will recover. I am already recovered from the pneumothorax, it’s just the ribs are not ‘glued’ let’s say, so it could be a problem. It is a very, very small risk, but I understand we all want zero risk. So it is just a matter of time. In the next 10 days it should be fine but we cannot guarantee – maybe five days, maybe 10, maybe 12.”
The McLaren driver knew it might be a big ask to be fit for this weekend and revealed, “There have been some painful days, some pain at home. But I was ready to go through this pain somehow in the car and make sure that I could race because at the end of the day the pain is manageable if you don’t think too much and adrenaline driving.”
“But there are some other risks, the doctors think. It’s a risk management and minimise everything is the logic of things. A little bit sad for that but it’s the only way to go”.
The double world champion has elected to stay in Bahrain and support his rookie replacement, Stoffel Vandoorne, on his debut in F1. “The team did a fantastic job preparing the car so I wanted to try [to race] until the last moment,” said Fernando. “Now I stay here all weekend to help Stoffel because it is a good opportunity for him, and to help the team because I love what I do, I love F1 and racing.
“I want to learn from the outside how the team prepare, the actions around qualifying, the strategy, the pit stops – I want to get involved in everything on the outside because it could help me on the inside next time.”
The arrival of Vandoorne will add some spice to qualifying on Saturday as he seeks to get the better of his team mate Jenson Button.