Fernando AlonsoEnlarge Photo
It’s starting to emerge that Fernando Alonso’s crash during pre-season testing for the 2015 Formula One World Championship may be more serious than initially thought. Despite his McLaren team saying the crash was quite “normal” and the Spaniard only suffered a concussion, Alonso ended up staying in hospital for several nights and now it’s been confirmed he will sit out the season opener in Melbourne, Australia next weekend on the grounds of medical advice.
In a statement, McLaren said Alonso’s medical team sees “no evidence whatsoever of any injury” relating to his crash on February 22, which McLaren previously said was caused by a strong gust of wind. Nevertheless, despite the lack of injury, the medical team has recommended Alonso limit as far as is possible any factors that could potentially result in him sustaining another concussion so soon after the first one. This is to minimize the chances of “second impact syndrome”, said to be normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions.
Understandably, Alonso has accepted the advice and will not race at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix. Though it’s yet to be confirmed, there are reports out of Spain that, after initially losing consciousness in the crash, Alonso suffered temporarily from amnesia, having woken up with no memory of the past 20 years.
At present, the Spaniard aims to be ready for the second race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, practice for which starts on March 27. Filling in for him in Melbourne will be reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.
In other F1 news, it's been revealed that previously disbanded team Marussia will be on the grid in Melbourne, using a modified version of the team’s 2014 car. Businessman Stephen Fitzpatrick has been revealed as the team's main backer. Driving for the team will be former reserve Will Stevens. His teammate will be announced in due course. Sadly, there is no hope for another struggling team, Caterham, whose assets have been put up for auction.