19 Mar 2015

Alonso completes time in simulator

10:47 am on 19 March 2015

The Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso has completed a day's work in the McLaren simulator without problems as he prepares for his return to the cockpit.

The double world champion missed the first race of the season in Australia to recover from concussion suffered in a crash in pre-season testing.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso Photo: Photosport

McLaren says he had a "good day in the sim, focusing on operational work and qualifying and race procedures".

Alonso must pass official FIA medical checks before being allowed to race.

The Spaniard, who spent three days in hospital after the crash, is planning to undergo the checks later this week.

Similar to a flight simulator used by pilots, the F1 simulator reproduces kerbs and bumps from a specific track.

It is normal practice for drivers to prepare for the next race in a simulator, but the session will have helped Alonso determine whether his senses have fully recovered from the effects of the accident.

Sources close to Alonso say that he has been concerned by the crash, the causes of which so far are unexplained, and especially by his loss of memory in the immediate aftermath.

But Alonso is determined to race in the next grand prix in Malaysia at the end of the month and has posted photographs of his preparations on Twitter.

McLaren made a dismal start to the season and their new partnership with Honda, Jenson Button and stand-in Kevin Magnussen qualifying on the back row of the grid in Melbourne.

Magnussen did not even make it to the grid on Sunday after his car's engine blew while Button, the last driver to win a race for McLaren back in 2012, finished 11th and last after being lapped twice by world champion Lewis Hamilton.

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