UPDATE: Race has restarted after a 25mins break

The Australian Grand Prix has been red flagged after 18 laps following a huge accident involving Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez.

The Spaniard was coming up behind the Haas of Gutierrez to try and pass at turn three, but found the way blocked at the outside, causing him to strike the back of the car.

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With the McLaren slamming into the outside wall, it then skated sideways towards the gravel trap, where it dug in and flipped over at speed, coming to rest cockpit first resting against the far barrier.

Despite the spectacular accident, Alonso was able to extricate himself out of the car and walked away unharmed, while Gutierrez - who was struck hard from behind - was is also seemingly unhurt.

As a result of the debris across a large stretch, the race was red flagged to allow a clear-up operation.

Alonso and Gutierrez both confirmed to be unhurt after a check by the medical team at Albert Park.