Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fernando Alonso set for F1 return next week

Alonso cleared to race once more

Alonso cleared to race once more

Fernando Alonso will race in the Malaysian Grand Prix as long as he comes through a final medical assessment on Thursday, his McLaren team have confirmed.

A crash in pre-season testing meant the Spaniard missed the opening round of the 2015 season in Australia as McLaren struggled towards the back of the grid – with Jenson Button finishing two laps down in 11th and last place after a string of retirements.

Alonso, returning to the Woking-based team having left Ferrari, crashed at high speed at turn three of the Circuit de Catalunya last month and suffered a concussion – with the two-time world champion not medically cleared to race in Melbourne as a result.

But a team statement read: "McLaren-Honda is pleased to announce that, subject to a successful final FIA medical assessment this Thursday 26th March at the Sepang International Circuit, Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit of his MP4-30 car for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix."

Alonso practiced in the team's simulator last week as he stepped up preparations for his eventual return.

Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen stepped in for the race in Melbourne but Alonso is now ready and, along with Button, will look to move McLaren further up to the business end of the grid as they struggle to get the maximum out of their new Honda power units.

The team's statement continued: "Since his Barcelona testing accident, Fernando has followed a rigorous, specialised training programme, designed and closely monitored by leading sports scientists, to ensure his safe and timely return to racing.

"At the McLaren Technology Centre last week, Fernando met with his engineers and drove the simulator, to bring him up to date with the latest developments on the MP4-30 chassis and power unit.

"Fernando is very much looking forward to getting back into the car and making a substantial contribution to our collective efforts with Honda, to accelerate the required improvement to our on-track performance."

Alonso also gave feedback to the team and FIA on his accident.

And the team said: "While there was nothing evident in the extensive car telemetry data, nor anything abnormal in the subsequent reconstructions and laboratory tests, Fernando recalls a sense of 'heavy' steering prior to the accident.

"Consequently, the team has fitted an additional sensor to the car to increase our data capture."

Lots of English fans left disappointed on Saturday night

Ireland's Paul O'Connell lifted the trophy in the end

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell lifted the trophy in the end

The Irish nation may have erupted in celebration as our heroes in green retained their 6 Nations rugby crown – but there were a lot of disappointed English fans crying into their beer on Saturday night.

The BBC has announced record-breaking viewing figures for Saturday's gripping RBS 6 Nations finale between England and France at Twickenham, with a peak audience of 9.63 million tuned into the action as England won 55-35, but came up just short in their attempt to overhaul Ireland after their earlier win against Scotland.

The BBC said that figure passed the previous best of 9.56m for England against France four years ago.

The other games on so-called Super Saturday attracted peak audiences of 5.1m for Scotland against Ireland at Murrayfield and 4.1m as Wales beat Italy in Rome.

The BBC Sport website, meanwhile, recorded 8.22m unique UK browsers on Saturday, surpassing a previous-best figure of 8.03m during the 2012 London Olympics.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: "What an amazing end to such a thrilling Six Nations Championship, and duly reflected in such a huge audience figure of 9.63m on BBC One, with millions more accessing content through radio, online and digital platforms."

Lots of English fans left disappointed on Saturday night

Ireland's Paul O'Connell lifted the trophy in the end

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell lifted the trophy in the end

The Irish nation may have erupted in celebration as our heroes in green retained their 6 Nations rugby crown – but there were a lot of disappointed English fans crying into their beer on Saturday night.

The BBC has announced record-breaking viewing figures for Saturday's gripping RBS 6 Nations finale between England and France at Twickenham, with a peak audience of 9.63 million tuned into the action as England won 55-35, but came up just short in their attempt to overhaul Ireland after their earlier win against Scotland.

The BBC said that figure passed the previous best of 9.56m for England against France four years ago.

The other games on so-called Super Saturday attracted peak audiences of 5.1m for Scotland against Ireland at Murrayfield and 4.1m as Wales beat Italy in Rome.

The BBC Sport website, meanwhile, recorded 8.22m unique UK browsers on Saturday, surpassing a previous-best figure of 8.03m during the 2012 London Olympics.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: "What an amazing end to such a thrilling Six Nations Championship, and duly reflected in such a huge audience figure of 9.63m on BBC One, with millions more accessing content through radio, online and digital platforms."

Lots of English fans left disappointed on Saturday night

Ireland's Paul O'Connell lifted the trophy in the end

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell lifted the trophy in the end

The Irish nation may have erupted in celebration as our heroes in green retained their 6 Nations rugby crown – but there were a lot of disappointed English fans crying into their beer on Saturday night.

The BBC has announced record-breaking viewing figures for Saturday's gripping RBS 6 Nations finale between England and France at Twickenham, with a peak audience of 9.63 million tuned into the action as England won 55-35, but came up just short in their attempt to overhaul Ireland after their earlier win against Scotland.

The BBC said that figure passed the previous best of 9.56m for England against France four years ago.

The other games on so-called Super Saturday attracted peak audiences of 5.1m for Scotland against Ireland at Murrayfield and 4.1m as Wales beat Italy in Rome.

The BBC Sport website, meanwhile, recorded 8.22m unique UK browsers on Saturday, surpassing a previous-best figure of 8.03m during the 2012 London Olympics.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: "What an amazing end to such a thrilling Six Nations Championship, and duly reflected in such a huge audience figure of 9.63m on BBC One, with millions more accessing content through radio, online and digital platforms."

PHOTO SPECIAL – Ireland’s heroes come home

Joe Schmidt posed for photos with fans at Dublin airport

Joe Schmidt posed for photos with fans at Dublin airport

It was the most thrilling end to a 6 Nations championship in living memory and for Ireland’s victorious heroes, their homecoming was the icing on the cake.

Joe Schmidt and his players went through a nerve jangling afternoon as their thumping win against Scotland left them waiting on England's result against France to decide their fate.

In the end, a gallant English effort in a truly sensational game at Twickenham came up just short, with captain Paul O'Connell leading the celebrations as he got his hands on the 6 Nations trophy for a second successive year.

As the crowds waited at Dublin airport, the cheers rang out when O'Connell emerged with the 6 Nations trophy.

Peter O'Mahony posed with supporters as the celebrations took place in perfect Dublin weather.

Rugby fanatic Darin Maguire was lucky to get his hands on the prized silverware. 

Here's hoping these scenes are repeated a thousand times over when Ireland return from the World Cup in England later this year with the biggest prize of them all.