Dennis questions FIA's refusal to consider fresh Alonso scan

Ron Dennis says he does not understand why the FIA would not consider looking at a fresh CT scan for Fernando Alonso on Saturday to re-evaluate whether or not he could drive in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Alonso was ruled out of competing at Sakhir on Thursday after the FIA's medical team was not satisfied with the result of a scan it took that day, which suggested he had not fully recovered from lung and rib injuries.

With Alonso feeling that he was well enough to drive, McLaren chairman Ron Dennis got involved on Saturday and held meetings with the FIA to get them to reconsider their decision if he could provide a fresh scan.

Speaking about the situation, Dennis said that the issue related to a difference of opinion between what Spanish specialists had said about Alonso and what the FIA was considering.

"When the team arrived here, they brought two scans that were taken on Monday," explained Dennis.

"The two sets of doctors in Spain had cleared Fernando to drive and fly, so we were very surprised to get a different interpretation here.

"We got through yesterday, and Fernando was feeling aggrieved as he felt so good that he felt he wanted to drive.

"So we approached the FIA and said, 'if we had a new scan taken this morning and if this scan supported the position of the doctors five days later', would they permit him to drive? And they said no. They said it doesn't matter what the scan showed, he wouldn't be permitted to drive."

Team decision

Dennis said that the FIA's stance was 'frustrating' because McLaren has involved specialists who had expert knowledge of the kind of injuries Alonso suffered.

"Being data driven, it is a bit frustrating that you are not given the opportunity to evaluate the drivers' condition," he said.

"Virtually every team sport in the world, the fitness of the athlete, the football player, the ice hockey player, the skier is determined by the team.

"The position of the FIA I feel is to ensure the safety of the other drivers. If a driver feels a bit of pain and wants to drive with a bit of pain, that is the driver's decisions.

"So not to be able to re-evaluate the situation this morning I didn't feel was very appropriate."

Specialist view

Although FIA president Jean Todt suggested on Saturday that in the future the FIA should monitor drivers more after accidents, Dennis has questioned the governing body's expertise in such matters.

"I don't think it is an FIA issue to be honest," he said. "I think specialists are there: we go to the world's experts for opinions.

"The world's experts….if we are in a country sometimes we will use experts in Switzerland. We put the driver safety absolutely paramount in our team.

"We are not going to general practitioners. We are going to experts in their specific field.

"I don't think the FIA has the ability to field every single expert that is appropriate. You have a head injury you need a neurosurgeon, you have structural damage on your body or an organ, you need the experts."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news