Alonso taking nothing for granted

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Fernando Alonso still waiting for all-clear to race in Chinese Grand Prix as he continues recovery from horror Australian crash.

Fernando Alonso hopes to be racing for McLaren at this weekend's Chinese Formula One Grand Prix but the Spaniard says he is taking nothing for granted ahead of a fitness test at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The double world champion fractured his ribs in a crash at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20 and the governing FIA's medical team then ruled him out of the subsequent race in Bahrain.

He will undergo more tests at the Chinese circuit tomorrow before the third round of the 21-race season. "It was disappointing to be told I couldn't race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team," he said yesterday in a team preview for the race.

"While I hope I'll be back in the cockpit on Friday (for practice), 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."

The Spaniard was replaced in Bahrain by the team's Belgian reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who ended up 10th to score McLaren's first point of the season after Jenson Button failed to finish. The Belgian remains on standby for China.

Alonso had stayed on at the Sakhir circuit to assist Vandoorne on his debut, and watched the race unfold from the pitwall. "It was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend," he said.

"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."

Alonso has won twice before in China, once with Ferrari and once with Renault. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won last year's race in China from pole position, with German teammate Nico Rosberg second.

Mercedes has dominated both races this season, with triple world champion Hamilton the fastest qualifier in Australia and Bahrain but losing to teammate Rosberg on race day.

Winner of 34 of the last 40 races, Mercedes has also locked out the front row for eight successive races.

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