Although the team say Alonso is “entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives”, doctors have advised the Spaniard, who sustained a concussion in a testing accident on February 22, not to compete in the March 15 race.
Alonso’s seat alongside Jenson Button will be filled by the McLaren’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, who competed in 19 races for the Woking squad last season.
“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,” a statement issued by McLaren read.
“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.”
McLaren say that although Alonso feels fit and well, he has understood and accepted the advice of his doctors, and with their blessing has recommenced his physical training with a view to returning to the cockpit for the second race of the season in Malaysia on March 29.