Formula One rolls into Malaysia this week for the second round of the championship at the Sepang International Circuit, where talk surrounding the utter dominance of Mercedes will for once take a back seat to the belated arrival of Fernando Alonso.
McLaren`s Fernando Alonso put in a day`s work in the team`s Formula One simulator on Wednesday ahead of his expected return to the racetrack in Malaysia next week after his crash in pre-season testing.
McLaren`s worst fears were realised on Saturday when they suffered a humiliating start to the Formula One season with a woeful Australian Grand Prix qualifying session that left both cars at the back of the grid.
McLaren`s sense of foreboding from a dismal winter testing was confirmed at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday as drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen languished near the bottom of the timesheets in the opening practice sessions of the season.
It was Kevin Magnussen rather than Jenson Button who was forced to make way for the arrival of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso at McLaren, but the young Dane has a chance to prove his paymasters wrong at Sunday`s Australian Grand Prix.