Following his pre-season accident at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where he suffered concussion, the McLaren-Honda driver has heeded doctors’ advice and elected to skip this weekend’s opening race in Melbourne.
The two-time world champion will be replaced by McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen, who scored an impressive podium finish on his F1 debut in Australia 12 months ago.
“Of course, I’m very disappointed not to be joining Jenson in Melbourne in the McLaren-Honda garage,” said Alonso. “But I understand the recommendations of the doctors and I’m already back in training and preparing for my first race in the MP4-30.
“I would like to thank everybody for their kind wishes and support and I’ll be giving everything to be back in the cockpit for Malaysia. I wish Kevin all the best for this weekend in Australia, and I know the car is in his safe hands!”
Despite the renewed McLaren-Honda alliance having to overcome quite a few hurdles in pre-season testing, Alonso feels his latest machine has promising potential.
“Even though we faced a lot of challenges in the tests, I am very encouraged by the feeling I got from the car, and I’m looking forward to going through all of the data from this weekend with the team to continue our push for development and improve our performance.”
Click here for the latest technical upgrades before Melbourne in pictures