Fernando Alonso to miss F1 season opener | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.03.2015
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Fernando Alonso to miss F1 season opener

Formula One team McLaren-Honda have announced that Fernando Alonso will sit out this season's opening race due to his crash last month. The Spaniard will be replaced for the Australian Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso will miss the first race of the 2015 Formula One season in Melbourne on March 15 after doctors advised against him racing so soon after his crash in testing last month.

Mclaren-Honda announced the decision in a statement on their webpage on Tuesday.

"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, he should seek to limit any environmental risk factors that could result in his sustaining another concussion so soon after his previous one," it read.

Alonso, who had only joined the team in the off-season from Ferrari, spent three days in hospital before being released and returning to his family home in Spain last week.

His recovery with no apparent ill affects had prompted McLaren-Honda team chairman Ron Dennis to say he believed the Spanish driver would be able to race in the first Grand Prix of the F1 season.

Site of Fernando Alonso's crash in Montmelo, Spain

Alonso suffered concussion after a crash during testing in Montmelo in Spain

The McLaren-Honda boss had also said data retrieved from the car ruled out a malfunction and he repeated the team's theory that gusting winds caused Alonso to lose control and slam into a wall at a speed of up to 240 kilometers an hour (150 mph).

Tuesday's team statement said Alonso's doctors had acknowledged that the driver "felt fit and well", and that he regarded himself as ready to race.

"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 meeting on March 27th, 28th and 29th," it read.

The 33-year-old was world champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and, after five seasons at Ferrari, returned for a second spell at McLaren-Honda at the end of last season.

Team bosses have confirmed that test driver Dane Kevin Magnussen will take Alonso's spot at Melbourne.

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