Alonso to miss Melbourne

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Fernando Alonso is to sit out the season-opening Formula One Grand Prix in Australia on advice from doctors.

Alonso sustained concussion following a heavy smash during the recent second pre-season test in Barcelona, resulting in the Spaniard spending three days in hospital.

Although Alonso has made a full recovery and has been described as “asymptomatic”, his doctors believe it unwise for him to race in Melbourne so soon after the accident.

For the Albert Park event on March 13-15, Jenson Button will now be partnered by reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, who competed for McLaren last season, with Alonso to return to the cockpit for the race in Malaysia on March 27-29.

A statement from McLaren read: “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.

“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 22, 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 13, 14 and 15.

“Fernando has understood and accepted that advice, and the two McLaren-Honda cars will therefore be driven in Australia by Fernando’s team-mate Jenson Button and the team’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.

“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 27, 28 and 29.

“Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22.

“All at McLaren-Honda fully support Fernando’s decision in respect of his doctors’ advice.”

Double world champion Alonso has returned to McLaren for this season after spending the past five years with Ferrari, burying the hatchet with Group CEO Ron Dennis following an ignominious campaign with the team in 2007.

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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