Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will not race at Formula One’s second stop of the season in Bahrain this weekend.
The Spaniard was barred from the race by FIA doctors due to injuries he sustained in his spectacular crash at the 2016 opener in Australia.
The McLaren driver suffered “rib fractures” and a partially collapsed lung in his crash in Melbourne – a crash that sent him hurtling into the track-side barriers before barrel-rolling into the gravel.
The sport’s governing body – the FIA – is will evaluate his condition again in the next tens days.
Alonso – who is expected to return for the Chinese GP in two weeks time – will be replaced in Bahrain by the team’s reserve driver from Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne, who will be making his F1 debut.
Vandoorne, 24, is the reigning GP2 champion and arguably the hottest property in the sport not to have a permanent seat in the elite class.