Fernando Alonso closer to return in Malaysia after concussion tests

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Fernando Alonso
Alonso was injured in a pre-season testing crash in Barcelona on 22 February

Fernando Alonso will fly to Malaysia for the grand prix on 29 March after having tests to establish whether he has recovered from concussion.

The McLaren driver missed the season's first race in Australia on 15 March after a crash in pre-season testing.

His adviser Luis Garcia Abad refused to confirm reports in Spain that Alonso had got the all-clear after the tests.

"It is private so I cannot confirm or deny it, but I have no doubts he will go to Malaysia as planned," he said.

The Marca and As newspapers said Alonso had been given short- and long-term memory and reflex tests in Cambridge on Sunday.

Alonso had been keen to do the tests before flying to Malaysia this week, to do everything he could to ensure there would be no problems with his plans to return to the cockpit.

The tests were conducted by an independent board of three eminent physicians at Cambridge University, set up by Formula 1's governing body the FIA as an extra medical panel when required.

Spaniard Alonso, a double world champion, will have further tests on his arrival at the Sepang track this week, among them a full assessment of his recovery from concussion and cognitive function, called an Impact test.

Following his apparent all-clear from the doctors at Cambridge, there is now no reason to believe Alonso will not also pass the tests in Malaysia and race next weekend as scheduled.

The 33-year-old also completed a session in McLaren's simulator earlier this week without problems.

McLaren say they will be guided by official medical advice when they receive it.