McLaren's Alonso pulls out of Australian Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso will not take part in the opening race of the season in Australia following doctors advice, McLaren confirmed on Tuesday morning.
The Spaniard suffered concussion following a crash during pre-season testing which saw him spend three nights on hospital.
Whilst he sustained no serious injury, doctors have advised him that it would be best to sit out the first race to continue his recovery, as the risk of a more serious injury is increased.
"Fernando's doctors have recommended to him that, following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident 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," confirmed McLaren in a statement.
"[This is] 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."
It's believed he will be in a position to race come the second round in Malaysia which takes place a fortnight later.
"Fernando's doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race," added the team.
"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.
"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."
Kevin Magnussen will therefore stand-in for Alonso at the first race, teaming up with former team-mate Jenson Button where the pair both scored podiums last season.