Afternoon turned into evening in Shanghai while the F1 paddock waited for news about Fernando Alonso.
Hours ago, the Spaniard met with FIA doctors in a bid to be cleared fit to return to the wheel of his McLaren-Honda this weekend.
As Thursday evening fell, heads were being scratched as the decision was long overdue.
“What takes the FIA doctors so long to decide?” wondered Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner.
Marca, a well-connected Spanish sports daily, reported that the governing body has requested more information before making a decision.
Alonso, however, made clear he wants to race.
“In Bahrain I was not completely sure, but here I’m sure,” he told Spanish media as he waited for the all-clear.
“I think it would be normal to let me do the first practice and then do a double-check to see if I have pain or if the rib is completely healed.
“I am optimistic and calm because I feel good,” Alonso added. “I had many nights of no sleep but now I am training with some normality and I’m ready to jump in the car and try.
“It is difficult to compare F1 with another sport because of the sitting position and the G-forces, but I have been in the gym and on the treadmill. I hope to be 100 per cent when I get in the car.”