Fernando Alonso on Sunday was cleared by FIA-appointed doctors to travel to the scene of this weekend’s Malaysian grand prix.
The Spaniard’s visit to Cambridge University to sit with the three specialists came exactly a month after his mysterious Barcelona crash, which caused him to miss the 2015 season opener in Melbourne.
Now, widespread international media reports say Alonso, 33, has cleared the first of three hurdles on the road to his Sepang comeback.
The Spanish sports daily AS cited “sources” close to the double world champion as saying Alonso has been given the green light to travel to Malaysia.
“It is private so I cannot confirm or deny it,” his manager Luis Garcia-Abad told the BBC on Sunday, “but I have no doubts he will go to Malaysia as planned.”
The next hurdle to clear will involve FIA medical delegate Jean-Charles Piette, who will administer his 45-minute ‘impact test’ at Sepang on Thursday, in which Alonso’s cognitive and reaction skills will be tested.
Alonso will also need the green light from the Malaysian circuit doctor.
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.
Spain’s Diario Sport newspaper said Alonso will begin the journey to Malaysia “in the coming hours”.
Referring to Alonso’s crash, his 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. (GMM)