Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will take to the track this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas despite still suffering back pain.
Earlier it was not certain the Spaniard would be racing in Austin this weekend after sustaining a back injury during a 28G bump over a kerb passing Jean Eric Vergne in Abu Dhabi.
Indeed Marussia driver Jules Bianchi and Pedro de la Rosa were being lined up as possible replacements for the 32-year-old.
However, writing to his many, many followers of Twitter and Facebook he confirmed he was heading Stateside.
“Packing the bag for Austin,” he wrote from his home in Spain.
“(I have) some pain still, but eager and confident to help the team. I will try to give 100 per cent as always!”
After the news Ferrari wrote a report on their official website where they claimed anyone doubting Alonso’s commitment to the Scuderia should “think again”.
The team did admit however, the double world champion was suffering from a “compression injury” and that he is “not in perfect shape” in the US this weekend.
“I am pleased to see that Fernando is so keen to give it his all, even when he’s not at his best,” president Luca di Montezemolo is quoted as saying.
“It shows how attached he is to us and I am sure that his example will be a further boost for the whole team in its efforts to end this season in the best way possible.”
One man who is absent from Austin this weekend is Kimi Raikkonen as he undergoes back surgery in Salzburg.
The Finn has divided opinion over his decision to quit Lotus early, with some suggesting the decision was about much more than back pain.
Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has also made his frustrations known, but does understand Raikkonen's reasoning.
"Primarily this is about Raikkonen's health, and I wish him a speedy recovery," Lopez told the German newspaper Die Welt.
"But the operation comes at a very unfortunate and unsuitable time for Lotus. And I also know what sport we are in," he added, in an obvious reference to the sceptics' doubts.
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