Double world champion Fernando Alonso admits he could be forced to miss further races after being ruled out of Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix with injuries suffered in his spectacular Melbourne crash.
Alonso sustained fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung in the 200mph smash that ended his Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, the McLaren driver revealed on Thursday.
It means he will miss a race on doctors’ orders for the second season in succession, following a concussion episode last year, and conceded that he might not recover in time to race in Shanghai on 17 April.
“I am already recovered from the pneumothorax [lung injury] but the rib is too fresh and it could be a potential problem,” the Spaniard said. “I have no respiratory problems. It is a small risk, but I understand they want no risk. It is just a question of time. It should be OK in the next 10 days but there is no guarantee.”
Alonso, 34, appeared to have escaped injury when he clambered free of the wreckage of his car after barrel-rolling across the track when he touched the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez at the season’s first race on 20 March.
He underwent further scans last week, however, which uncovered the wounds and, having waited until the eve of Friday's first practice session in the hope of being passed fit, reluctantly accepted defeat.
The 2005 and 2006 champion, who will be replaced in Bahrain by reserve driver and current GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, missed last year’s first race after he was concussed in a crash during pre-season testing.