Fernando Alonso will sit out the 2015 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with Kevin Magnussen set to substitute alongside Jenson Button at McLaren-Honda.
Alonso suffered a concussion during a testing accident in Barcelona last month and spent three nights in hospital, before returning home to continue his recovery.
McLaren CEO Ron Dennis said last week that he expected Alonso to be passed fit ahead of the first race of the 2015 season, but following a further investigation by doctors, the Spaniard has been ruled out of the race.
Doctors said that while Alonso was recovering well, the risk of suffering a second concussion in such close proximity to his initial injury meant it was safer he sit out the 2015 season-opener.
A statement issued by McLaren on Tuesday read: “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.”
Kevin Magnussen, who tested the MP4-30 for the first time in Barcelona last week, will replace Alonso in Australia, with the Spaniard hopeful of making a recovery in time for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
“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.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of McLaren