Fernando Alonso will miss the opening round of the 2015 F1 World Championship in Australia on the advice his medical team following his accident in pre-season testing.

Alonso was airlifted to hospital following his crash at the exit of turn three on the final day of the first Circuit de Catalunya test [22 Feb], the Spaniard suffering a concussion, which proceeded to necessitate a three night stay.

Though McLaren has previously emphasised his 'perfect' condition - despite the lengthy hospital stay -, it has now confirmed he will not race at Albert Park on the advice of Alonso's medical team, with reserve driver Kevin Magnussen stepping in to replace him alongside Jenson Button

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"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 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.

"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."

Though McLaren had expected Alonso to be fit enough for the opening round in Australia, it says he will now aim to return to racing for the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 27-29

"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.

"All at McLaren-Honda fully support Fernando's decision in respect of his doctors' advice."


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The hazards of concussions are now right up in the forefront of concerns (rightfully so) since the legal actions within the NFL last year. Look at the procedures now in place within rugby - and Alonso's impact was likely far higher than that likely to be suffered within that sport.

I fail to understand why there seems such suspicion that he is being rested. Had he raced, and had an accident, (God forbid), I can only imagine the outrage from all the hindsight brigade.

Doctors don't (usually) have any agenda other than the safety and well-being of their patient - which I am sure is the case here.