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Fernando Alonso to miss first Grand Prix of Formula 1 season

McLaren says driver has been told not to compete in Melbourne after February 22 accident

Doctors attend to Alonso after the crash at Montmeló.
Doctors attend to Alonso after the crash at Montmeló.M. T. (Getty)

Fernando Alonso will not compete at the first race of the upcoming Formula 1 season, which is scheduled to take place in Melbourne, Australia on March 15.

His team, McLaren, released a statement on Tuesday in which it made clear that the Spanish driver had not suffered any lasting injuries in the crash he suffered during a Barcelona testing session on February 22, but that he had been advised not to race in Melbourne, due to the risk he could crash and suffer a second concussion.

In order to limit environmental risk factors, Fernando’s doctors have advised that he should not compete in Australia” McLaren team statement

“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 22, 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 minimize the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions,” the statement read.

“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,” it continued.

Following medical protocols, Alonso was airlifted by helicopter and admitted to intensive care after crashing while testing the new Honda-powered McLaren at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona. After remaining under observation for three days at the Hospital General de Cataluña, he was released and traveled to his home in Asturias.

For reasons that the team attributed to high winds at the circuit, Alonso’s McLaren careered off to the right at the third corner of the Catalan circuit and crashed laterally into a wall at a speed of 150km/h.

Racing for McLaren at the Australia circuit will be Alonso’s teammate, Jenson Button, and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.

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