McLaren has confirmed that following medical advice Fernando Alonso will not take part in the Australian GP and will instead focus on being ready for Malaysia a fortnight later.
Alonso will be replaced in Melbourne by Kevin Magnussen, who tested the MP4-30 in Barcelona last week.
Meanwhile the team continues to insist that there is nothing wrong with Alonso, and that the delay in his return is just a precaution.
A statement from the team said: “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.
“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.”
16 responses to “Magnussen gets his chance as Alonso misses Melbourne”
Recovery from a concussion should not be taken lightly, but I get the feeling Alonso is taking his time to see how the McLaren stacks up to the field in AUS. If it’s a total dog and/or reliability isn’t there, why not take a break until all the bugs worked out. Let magnussen fly and prep to drive 20 laps until an mgu-k failure.
This doesn’t stack-up. A minor concussion 3 weeks before the race date, we are repeatedly told there are no after effects (but several days in hospital) and now he can’t race?
Obviously it was a significant concussion, especially if there are concerns over possible second impact syndrome. Smart play is to skip the first race. The way the car performs perhaps the entire team should skip Melbourne. 🙂
After reading more I think the source of my confusion was Ron Dennis and his attempts to gloss over what happened.
The story isn’t as far fetched as it seems.
A concussion is not something to be taken lightly.
Just as an example, take Dario Franchitti. At first glance nothing seems amiss, but he was strongly advised to retire from racing – which he promptly did – after his horrific accident because another impact to the head could have serious consequences for him.
So kudo’s to Alonso for having the common sense to listen to his doctors.
And interesting after all the debate at the end of last season over who would be driving for McLaren in 2015 we start the new season with the drivers from last year.
Something ain’t right with this. If nothing else, FA has decided the car is crap and he is giving up zero relative to the season standings by not getting in the cockpit. Put another way, if he thought he had a shot at WC this year he’d be driving come March 15…
Except that no one has been suggesting for a moment that McLaren have a reasonable chance of a title in the first year of the partnership…
What’s not right about this (IMHO) is McLaren not issuing a clear statement that FA had a concussion. That simple statement would have short circuited all the speculation. Another muff by Ron.
Clear and unequivocal.
Yet many seem to read something that is not there……
This all smacks of Bernie’s annual “rev up the fans with peripheral, apocryphal, nonsense” routine. All of this “conspiracy theory” baloney (a conspiracy aimed at what goal?) is just too much to believe (but the motoring press and far too many fans still buy into it anyway.)
WHO CARES if McLaren didn’t come off well in testing? Just who in their right mind thought they would? So Fernando banged his head in an incident that barely took off the wheels. Gee, surely not in Formula One!
Way too much “Chicken Little” stuff in all this (and gee, it’s just two weeks before the first race. Imagine that.) :rolls eyes:
Has there been one season opener in the past 15 years that was begun with SOME form of manufactured drama designed to get the world’s attention? I think not.
was _not_ begun…
Bringing in Magnussen so quickly to finish testing instead of Button was a clear signal they didn’t expect FA to race, probably based on how long FA was unconscious. Which they knew immediately.
I don’t think so. If the car had been reliable, four 8 hour days of driving would have been too much for Jenson on his own. And it makes sense to give Kevin a day in the car at the earliest opportunity when he is going to be spending most of his time in the simulator and will need to be able to correlate it with real experience.
I think all of the drivers should decorate their helmets to wish Alonso a speedy recovery….. oh wait…….