Alonso to miss Bahrain GP

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has been barred from racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix after suffering “rib fractures” and a partially collapsed lung in his 180mph crash in Australia.

Fernando AlonsoMedics made the call after conducting scans on the two-time world champion.

He will be replaced by McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who will be making his F1 debut in Bahrain.

A “disappointed” Alonso says there was “a risk the fracture could affect the lung” and he “respects the decision”.

In Thursday’s news conference in Bahrain, the 34-year-old revealed he suffered a pneumothorax – a partially collapsed lung – as a result of the accident in Melbourne but this had now healed.

He said it was “not 100%” that he will be able to race in China in two weeks and he will be tested again in the next eight to 10 days after which governing body the FIA will evaluate his condition.

McLaren launch car for 2016

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McLaren's new F1 car for the 2016 seasonMcLaren have launched the car that they hope will be able to get them back up towards the front of the grid after years of disappointment.

In 2015 they reunited with Honda in an attempt to match their previous era together in the 1980s with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

However the complicated power unit struggled with reliability and power.

It meant that team endured their worst ever season in more than 50 years.

The team will be hoping that their 2016 creation will be able to get them back towards the sharp end of the grid.

Their driver lineup will remain unchanged for the first time since 2012, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Button will take the MP4-31 out on its first drive in testing tomorrow.

Over the past three seasons, the team have managed just two podiums, as many as Force India, compared to the 72 that Mercedes have achieved, 38 from Red Bull, 29 from Ferrari, 16 from Lotus and 13 from Williams

McLaren 2015 review

McLaren had a average year in 2013 and an awful one in 2014, and remarkably 2015 was even worse.

The season yielded the teams worst season in their 50 year history which was mainly down to their woeful power unit.

The season was meant to be one of success, years of steady decline with a move to rekindle their former glory days by returning Honda.

The Honda power unit has been disastrous, there is little doubt about that.

At the start of the season, the team and various pundits all expected McLaren to bounce back by the second half of the season, if anything things at times got worse or stayed the same.

The Honda PU massively lacked horsepower and whenever things looked hopeful it just gave up the ghost all together.

The team had ten technical retirements across the season which is as many as they had over the previous four seasons combined.

The optimism that world champions Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso expressed were all but dashed by the time the final chequered fag waved in Abu Dhabi.

It was almost sad seeing these two great drivers being force to scrap over positions out of the points, struggling at times to make it out of Q1 and being overtaken as Alonso put it in Japan as though they were in “a GP2 car”.

2016 has to be an improvement who else expect a swift departure from both Alonso and Button.

We saw from Ferrari between 2014/15 that improvements can be made, but McLaren are in a worse position than Ferrari were at the end of 2014.

More than two seconds has to be found in the PU and the chassis, and that is just to catch up to the front runners pace of last season, this years front runners will have found another second or two in their own cars.

McLaren were seen as a mighty and powerful team, so dominant 20 years ago and regular race winners over the past decade, their torrid seasons are catching up with them financially and sooner or later something will have to give because struggling to even achieve points is unacceptable.

McLaren duo handed grid penalties

The Honda engine has caused issues all season longSource- BBC

Both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have been hit by grid penalties ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix as the team seek further improvement from their troubled Honda engine.

Alonso debuted an upgraded power unit at the last race in the US whilst Button stuck with the older unit, but this weekend the Briton will be given the upgraded package too, whilst Alonso will get a new version of the Texas upgrade.

Alonso will suffer a total grid penalty of 15 places, 10 for the new engine and five for a replacement gearbox – and Button 20, with each of the two engines costing him 10 places.

It is possible Button will have further penalties if other parts of the engine are changed, therefore will guarantee he starts from the back of the grid.

The layout of the revised Mexican GP circuit which is in Mexico City itself isn’t expected to play into the hands of the McLaren car so the team have decided that this is the best circuit to take the penalties rather than at any of the final two races of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Alonso and Merhi take grid penalties

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2015

Fernando Alonso and Roberto Merhi have both picked up grid penalties for the Russian Grand Prix due to power unit changes.

Alonso has taken four new components, replacing his Honda engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and control electrics. He will be given a total grid penalty of 25 places.

Merhi, who has returned to Manor this weekend in place of Alexander Rossi, will lose 20 places on the grid after changing his Ferrari engine, turbocharger and MGU-H.

Eight other drivers have taken new engines this weekend without penalty including both Williams, Lotus and Sauber drivers plus Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez. The same drivers have also taken new turbochargers and MGU-Hs.