Fernando Alonso to miss the Australian Grand Prix with Kevin Magnussen set to replace him despite lack of running time

Alonso suffered a concussion in pre-season testing and will miss the season-opener in Melbourne through doctors advice

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The Independent Online

Fernando Alonso will miss the opening race of the 2015 Formula One season in Australia on advice from doctors after sustaining a concussion in the pre-season test at Barcelona last month, McLaren have confirmed.

Alonso was taking part in the final day of the second test when his car went off the track at the 150mph turn three and collided side-on with the barrier. Initial fears for his safety were soon eased when McLaren confirmed he was conscious and talking, and after precautionary three-night stay in hospital, he was released to continue his recovery.

McLaren CEO had contradicted a statement which confirmed that Alonso had suffered a concussion which had put his participation in the opening race in Melbourne – due to take place next weekend.

Dennis said: "I can't foresee any reason why not but I'm not the doctor," Dennis said. "There will be some tests, there is a process laid down within the FIA and I can't see any reason why he just won't sail through it. It's not for me to say yes or no.

"In normal circumstances, if [the third test] was a grand prix, he would probably be racing. I am just saying that there is no point in being here, go through a recovery, he will appear in Australia and he will go through the FIA test at some point."

 

Alonso’s absence will see reserve driver Kevin Magnussen return to the cockpit having filled in for the Spaniard at the third and final pre-season test, which was also held in Barcelona. Magnussen was dropped from the team at the start of the year with Dennis choosing to retain veteran Jenson Button in his line-up alongside the returning Alonso, but the Dane admitted on Sunday that he doesn’t feel ready to replace Alonso Down Under given his lack of running time.

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Alonso behind the wheel of his McLaren-Honda in pre-season

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Alonso is taken form his stricken McLaren-Honda to an ambulance

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Alonso is transported from the medical centre at Catalunya to a helicopter

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Alonso left hospital after a precautionary three-day stay

Speaking after completing just 39 laps in two days’ of running, Magnussen said: "I think it would be difficult because I've not really had my own team of engineers and mechanics to talk to all winter.

"I've kind of been on the sidelines a little bit. I've followed what was going on and kept up to date with it but it's different when you have your own team and you can go there every day and work with them and prepare like that. So it would be difficult but, if I have to, then I would be very happy to do it."

Alonso should be fit to return for the second race of the season, which is scheduled to take place in Malaysia on 27-29 March, in what is one of the most physically demanding races on the calendar.

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