Fernando Alonso is still unsure whether he will race in China, saying McLaren "cannot assume anything" until the doctors have given him the all-clear.
Alonso missed the Bahrain Grand Prix due to the injuries he sustained in a violent crash at the season-opener in Australia, meaning McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne stepped in. With Alonso required to pass another medical before he can race in China the Spaniard is refusing to consider it a certainty.
"It was disappointing to be told I couldn't race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team," Alonso said. "While I hope I'll be back in the cockpit on Friday, until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race -- whenever that may be -- we cannot assume anything, but I'm continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal."
Vandoone enjoyed a very impressive debut in Bahrain, out-qualifying Jenson Button and then claiming McLaren's first points of the season. The team has shown signs of progress on the performance side and Alonso was encouraged to see how both cars performed last time out, albeit from the confines of the McLaren garage.
"Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, and although Jenson suffered reliability issues, it was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend. It was also interesting for me to see the race weekend unfold from a different perspective, which helped me to understand everything that goes into getting the cars on track and learn a lot about the different processes, although I'd still prefer to be racing! I've always enjoyed driving in China - I've won there twice before - and I hope we'll be able to have some good battles on track and see more progress this weekend."