Fernando Alonso will not compete at the Australian Grand Prix following advice from doctors in the wake of his recent accident in testing.
The Spaniard’s McLaren team this morning issued a statement insisting that while Alonso is “asymptomatic of any medical issue” medics have recommended that he miss the opening round of the 2015 season.
“Having performed an exhaustive series of tests and scans – some of them as recently as yesterday evening – McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso’s doctors have informed him that they find him asymptomatic of any medical issue; that they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike,” the statement read.
“However, Fernando’s doctors have recommended to him that, following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22nd, for the time being he should seek to limit as far as is possible any environmental risk factors that could potentially result in his sustaining another concussion so soon after his previous one, so as to minimise the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions.
“In order to limit those environmental risk factors, specifically, his doctors have advised that he should not compete in the imminent Australian Grand Prix meeting, which will take place on March 13th, 14th and 15th.”
Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen will replace Alonso at the wheel of the team’s new Honda-powered car and will race at the venue where he scored the sole podium finish of his short career so far.
According to McLaren, Alonso is likely to be fit for the following round in Malaysia at the end of March.
“Fernando’s doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race, and, that being the case, they are comfortable with the fact that he has already recommenced physical training, with a view to preparing for a return to the cockpit of his McLaren-Honda car for the Malaysian Grand Prix meeting on March 27th, 28th and 29th. Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22nd.”
The decision heaps pressure on Magnussen who was quoted this week as saying that for him to race in Melbourne “would be difficult”.
“It’d be difficult, as I’ve not had my own team of engineers or mechanics to talk to all winter,” Magnussen said. “I’ve kind of been on the sidelines a little bit.
“I’ve followed what has been going on and kept up to date with it but it is different when you have your own team and you can work with them. If I have to then I’ll be happy to do it.”