Fernando Alonso will sit out next weekend’s Australian grand prix.
McLaren announced the news on Tuesday, despite insisting the Spaniard has been checked by doctors in the wake of his Barcelona testing crash and four days in hospital.
The doctors found Alonso “asymptomatic of any medical issue,” McLaren said in a media statement, “they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike”.
But, as swirling controversy and speculation surrounding the circumstances of the mysterious crash and Alonso’s loss of consciousness and memory continues, the 33-year-old will sit out Melbourne.
The newly Honda-powered team said doctors want Alonso to avoid the possibility of a second concussion, or so-called second impact syndrome, “as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions”.
McLaren said: “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”.
“Fernando has understood and accepted that advice, and the two McLaren-Honda cars will therefore be driven in Australia by Fernando’s teammate Jenson Button and the team’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen,” the team announced.
McLaren added that Alonso, already feeling “fit and well”, has returned to physical training and is eyeing a return to the MP4-30 in Malaysia later this month.
His “doctors are supportive of that ambition,” the team said, “satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident”. (GMM)