McLaren-Honda has revealed that Fernando Alonso has not been cleared to race in the opening Formula 1 race of the season in ten days' time at the Australian Grand Prix after sustaining a concussion during an accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22.
The decision has paved the way for an unlikely start for reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, who lost his starting seat when Alonso joined after last season and the team decided to go with the more experienced Jenson Button.
Alonso's doctors advised 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, so as to minimise the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions”, according to McLaren.
The Australian Grand Prix, a race in which the young Dane finished second in last year to much aplomb, will take place on March 15.
Happy to help out
Magnussen, who deputised for Alonso during tests in Barcelona last week, was pleased to be in a position to help out the team, despite the unfortunate circumstances involving Alonso.
“It’s nice to be back in the car. I always enjoy driving new cars, and this is a car I haven’t driven before. I can see the work we did last year has gone into this car,” Magnussen said.
“It’s good working with Honda. They’re a very enthusiastic team, you can feel they have a desire to succeed – they’re here to win. It will take time, but that’s what they’re here to do.”
McLaren said that Alonso would probably be back behind the wheel for the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 29.