Fernando Alonso will not race in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix following a crash during Formula One testing that sent him to the hospital for three days, McLaren said Tuesday.
The decision was taken to avoid the chance of Alonso having another concussion — second-impact syndrome — following the accident at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit last month, the team said in a statement.
McLaren maintained that Alonso's doctors "see no evidence whatsoever of any injury, and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives."
Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen will take Alonso's place in the March 15 race in Melbourne.
"It was not expected," Magnussen's manager, Dorte Riis Madsen, told TV2 in Denmark. "It is a great chance that Kevin wants to use."
McLaren expects Alonso to be back racing again for the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 29.
"Fernando's doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race, and, that being the case, they are comfortable with the fact that he has already recommenced physical training," McLaren said.