McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has been cleared to travel to Malaysia for the second race of the Formula 1 season after passing medical tests in England, Spanish media reported on Sunday.
Marca and AS sports newspapers, quoting sources close to the driver, said the double world champion had short and long-term memory and reflex checks in Cambridge. There was no immediate comment from McLaren.
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, which his manager has said those should be a formality.
Although the driver and McLaren did not comment on Sunday, those in F1 circles do now expect Alonso to make his McLaren-Honda race debut this weekend.
The Spanish reports say the FIA will summon Alonso to its official driver press conference on Thursday, during which he will be grilled by international media about the bizarre circumstances of his crash and recovery.
Diario Sport newspaper reported Sunday that Alonso “will begin the journey to Malaysia in the coming hours”.
Referring to Alonso’s crash, his new girlfriend Lara Alvarez was quoted on Sunday by the El Pais newspaper: “You cannot imagine a scare like that. I know he’s an elite athlete and it is clear there are risks, but you do not think something like that will happen.”
Alvarez said she would “rather not” speak about the details of the incident.
at the season opener in Australia, McLaren, who have not won a race since 2012, were woefully off the pacewith 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 1 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.