Alonso ruled out of Australian Grand Prix

Tue Mar 3, 2015 8:03am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso will miss next week's season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix on doctors' advice after a heavy crash in testing, the Spaniard's McLaren team said on Tuesday.

"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," they said in a statement.

Australia would have marked a new start for Alonso at McLaren, who are also embarking on a new engine partnership with Honda, after five years at Ferrari.

However, the Spaniard spent three nights in hospital last week after losing control and hitting the wall in testing in Barcelona on Feb. 22.

McLaren said the 33-year-old had undergone more tests on Monday evening and been given the all-clear.

"However, Fernando’s doctors have recommended to him that...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," they added.

"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."

First practice for the March 15 race in Melbourne starts on Friday, March 13.   Continued...

McLaren's Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain gestures to the media as he leaves a hospital in Sant Cugat, north of Barcelona February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea