McLaren confident of Alonso’s return

McLaren are confident Fernando, who reported a sense of 'heavy' steering before his crash, will be cleared to race at Sepang.

The double World Champion has yet to contest his debut grand prix with McLaren-Honda after suffering a concussion in pre-season testing.

Told he could not race in Australia as another concussion would be dire, Alonso sat out the season-opening race.

He is, however, expected to return in Malaysia this weekend.

The Spaniard passed the first round of testing at the Cambridge University on Sunday and was declared fit to travel to Sepang where he will face two more FIA mandated tests.

McLaren said in a press release: "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 stated that Alonso was fully prepared for his debut race with McLaren, revealing he had been following a "rigorous, specialised training programme, designed and closely monitored by leading sports scientists, to ensure his safe and timely return to racing."

Added to that, last week he "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."

Alonso also spent time discussing his accident with members of the team, reviewing the data and informed them he had felt a "sense of 'heavy' steering prior to the accident."

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