Fernando Alonso will return for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix subject to a successful final Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), English: International Automobile Federation) medical assessment on Thursday, McLaren-Honda have announced.
The driver, who suffered concussion after crashing in testing in Barcelona last month, missed the March 15 Australian season-opener and must still pass FIA tests at the Sepang circuit on Thursday before being able to race.
“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,” read the statement.
“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, who have not won a race since 2012, were woefully off the pace in Australia with Jenson Button finishing last in 11th place after he and Danish team mate Kevin Magnussen qualified on the back row.
Alonso is returning to McLaren, the team he drove for in 2007, after five years at Ferrari and at the start of a new Honda-powered era for the former champions.
The 33-year-old suffered temporary memory loss in his crash, with some reports suggesting he had forgotten in the immediate aftermath that he was a Formula One driver and could not initially remember anything after 1995.
However McLaren racing director Eric Boullier played that down at the time, saying the Spaniard — who spent three nights in hospital — had suffered “a normal concussion” and everything was back to normal.