Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Alonso to miss first race of 2015 on medical grounds

2015 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso will not compete in the first race of the season in Australia, McLaren has confirmed.

Alonso sustained a concussion when he crashed during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya nine days ago. Although McLaren state his doctors have not found any evidence of injury, they have advised him not to participate in the weekend in order to avoid risk of another concussion.

“It will be tough not to be in Australia,” Alonso wrote on Twitter, “but I understand the recommendations”.

Kevin Magnussen will take Alonso’s place in the team’s line-up for the first grand prix weekend of the season from March 13th to 15th. The second, at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, takes place two weeks later.

McLaren believe the crash was caused by windy conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya when Alonso went off.

McLaren statement

Having performed an exhaustive series of tests and scans – some of them as recently as yesterday evening – McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso’s doctors have informed him that they find him asymptomatic of any medical issue; that they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike.

However, 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, for the time being he should seek to limit as far as is possible any environmental risk factors that could potentially result in his sustaining another concussion so soon after his previous one, so as to minimise the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions.

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, which will take place on March 13th, 14th and 15th.

Fernando has understood and accepted that advice, and the two McLaren-Honda cars will therefore be driven in Australia by Fernando’s team-mate Jenson Button and the team’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.

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, 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. Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22nd.

All at McLaren-Honda fully support Fernando’s decision in respect of his doctors’ advice.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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158 comments on “Alonso to miss first race of 2015 on medical grounds”

  1. Nooooo!!! At least he’ll be fitter for Malaysia though!

    1. No big surprise that this decision was made.

      To minimize all negative affects after a concussion, the most important things is long and gentle recovery.

      He probably feels fit to race himself, but the recommended recovery period continuous well into this “feeling totally okay” phase.

      If the McLaren had shown pace capable of podiums, half-decent reliability, I bet they, Alonso and McLaren, would have made a different decision. In other words, they have not much to loose, but have a lot to gain. Ensuring Alonso’s future health of the brain, giving K.Mag experience in the new car, which will be useful in many ways, while at the same time not compromising any championships.

    2. The only thing that matters is that his health is not at risk. The consideration that his car looks horribly underprepared and is less than likely to compete for the victory, or even complete 56 laps, might have played a role in this decision. He has nothing to gain, so why take a gamble and risk losing everything?

  2. Oh dear…this is getting quite serious. As an Alonso fan, I’m getting quite scared now.

    1. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, it’s standard practice after a concussion. I’m not a doctor but I believe it has something to do with giving the brain time to properly heal, as a second concussion before healing could be much more damaging. Same goes for you, I or anyone else who gets concussed – just we don’t tend to experience the same kind of risk that drivers do of getting another.

      1. But if the decision is so standard and not at all based on injuries and test results, why wasn’t this made public from the very beginning?

        1. Because why should they? Medical care and consultation is an ongoing process, and it was clear as soon as he spent a night in hospital that eventually a decision would need to be taken. Now the decision has been taken, and now we hear about it. Nothing shady, no conspiracy, just medical professionals making sure that Alonso gets excellent care and the best advice for the injuries he’s had.

        2. I think the reason is as simple as Alonso really want to race in Australia and probably McLaren also keen for Alonso to race in Australia, but OTOH, they paid a lot of money for Alonso service, thus doesn’t want to risk a permanent or a bigger injury to Alonso, thus the decision comes a bit late.
          I think people also forget that the accident itself is really recent. It was happening less than a week from today!
          I personally think there is really nothing wrong with the announcement. It’s just a normal thing. Why you need to announce it immediately after Alonso was concussed if the race is still 2 weeks away?

        3. Because the decision may not have been made! In any case you do not have the ‘right’ to know!!!!!

          1. I understand I (or we) do not have the right to know. And even if they had known already from the beginning that given the nature of the accident it would be prudent not to let him drive, I understand there could still be reasons for a team/doctors not to tell the public (nor do they have the obligation to do so).

            However, the reasoning they use in their statement seems a bit odd. They basically say that a decision on Alonso’s participation in Melbourne would have been premature a couple of days ago. And when they actually get the tests in, and everything is positive, they find enough arguments to make him not participate. So what results should the tests have shown for him to be able to race in Melbourne?

            PD: In the spanish paper El Mundo they claim that Alonso refuses to drive the McLaren until the FIA and McLaren have provided a reasonable explanation for his crash (apparently Alonso’s demanded the footage from the on-board cameras and McLaren has refused to give them)

          2. El Mundo has to be one of the worst examples of trashy, sensationalist, tabloid garbage on the internet. Have they ever run a story which turned out to be true?

            I feel like you’re desperately searching for some kind of telltale inconsistency in order to find fault wiht what you’re being told. As I say, there’s nothing about this which fails to add up. Alonso was concussed. We know know his symptoms, we don’t know how long they lasted or how severe they were. Nor do we have any right whatsoever to know that. But we do know that he was concussed, and tha’ts a very serious thing. More serious than it has been taken in the past. The doctors have their reasons for recommending that he doesn’t race, and since we aren’t doctors ourselves, I think it makes sense for us to simply defer to their better, well-informed judgement, and the decisions thye make which are ultimately in the best interests of the patient.

          3. Interesting!! Looks like already potential conflict between Ron and Fred! Something more than meets the eye could be going on behind the scenes. Its very odd but we can go on only what we are hearing. But potential is there for something to happen given he is now going to miss the race. That means they feel he still won’t be ready 10 days from now?? Yet he is not “injured”?

          4. ….. wut.

            The doctors have recommend that he miss the race and the team and driver have decided to follow that advice.

          5. @mazdachris Ron Dennis has already conflicted official mclaren reports last week by stating Alonso did not suffer from concussion. If that’s not tell tale inconsistency then please by all means define what is.

          6. In rugby a concussion results in a minimum of 2 weeks outs, if it was a bad one it can be weeks longer. When it comes to head injuries in sport, doctors will always err on the side of caution.

    2. Something doesn’t quite feel right. I think Fernando is cured of the concussion. But what caused the concussion in the first place? The crash, which was caused by the win? Sounds too far-fetched.

      1. You think that it sounds far fetched that a car hitting a concrete wall at over 90mph might give a driver a concussion?

        1. Actually, in the modern era, yes.

          1. 30g’s, dude, 30g, era has nothing to do with that.

          2. Like it was reported before, if it was head-on impact, he would have less impact, lateral impact caused all sorts of complications, unlike front and rear crash structures there are no such thing to absorb lateral impact on wheels, so most of the energy is absorbed by driver which resulted in this unfortunate incident.

          3. Fernando is alive with no serious injuries. That’s the modern era. Drivers are extremely well protected from external damage, but they can’t escape the g-force.

        2. No, that a driver would suddenly turn right towards the inside wall at that part of the Circuit de Catalunya, and only the “wind” is suggested as the reason for that. Vettel was following Alonso and even he thought something was unusual. Why didn’t he too chime to the same “wind” chorus? He said the crash was “unusual”.

          1. wind “caused” accident meaning, it was just strong enough to influence the car which was on-limit at high-speed onto astro-turf which is slippery to lose control, unfortunately instead-of head-on it hit the wall laterally which is worse. Btw vettel clarified his statements saying he saw it only after car already lost control, and he said wind was strong enuf.

          2. knoxploration
            3rd March 2015, 20:01

            Not to mention that this magical wind failed to affect other cars directly around Alonso’s, such as for example Vettel’s. And as already noted elsewhere, Ron Dennis directly stated that there was absolutely zero indication of a concussion in Alonso’s post-accident scans.

            There is more to this story than we are being told.

          3. looks like ppl do not have full details of the incident. Vettel was on his slow lap as he was off at the end of start-finish straight , so he just re-joined the track so he was going slowly.

        3. @vvans Sounds to me like you are more interested in tabloid drivel than just taking this news for what it is and leaving it at that.

        4. Which accident was worse?

          1- Webber doing a complete 360 after climbing over the back of the Caterham in Valencia

          2- Kubica righting off his BMW in Canada


          3- Alonso’s crash?

          Neither of the 2 drivers in the 1st 2 incidents suffered anything worse that a sprained ankle (Kubica) and both were available to do the following race.

          1. Yes, a sprained ankle. Whereas Alonso had concussion, hence he won’t be racing. What part of that are you struggling to understand?

          2. 1. I remember Webber saying he had delayed concussion after that incident. Didn’t stop him winning at Silverstone however.

            2. Kubica did in fact miss the next race, allowing a 19-year-old future quadruple World Champion to make his debut.

          3. You can’t compare past accidents with this one. Concussion is much better understood now and whilst a few years ago he would have been straight back in the car (because his self assessment is ‘I’m OK’), that clearly isn’t happening today.

          4. There are far too many factors going on in a crash to really compare them in terms of injury. A light looking crash can very easily cause harm more harm if the circumstances are right.

          5. When in comes to concussions, the subjective comparison of how bad a crash looks, is irrelevant. It about the impact of the brain against the skull that matters.

            Often in car crashes, the car can be completely destroyed and the driver walks away relatively unharmed, while a crash when the car has very little damage but the driver sustains a serious injury.

          6. Great example, actually. Kubica had sprained ankle AND a concussion. He also skipped one GP after the crash. Webber’s crash was spectacular, but luckily he managed to avoid any serious impact.

        5. He didn’t suffer from concussion though, according to Ron Dennis, but what would Ron know right?

      2. thomas magius
        3rd March 2015, 13:23

        Its the concussion on concussion thing. Cured and well are not necessarily the same as completely healed from tiny tiny bleedings in the brain that can be revoked, is my understanding anyway.

      3. “I think Fernando is cured of the concussion.”

        You know nothing.

      4. I don’t think you can say “he is cured of the concussion” having had a head injury myself I can say that these things are massively complicated. Mine was face butting a car, you could say that because I had clear facial injuries and a broken jaw then you could look at me and say I wasn’t ok. Alonso was wearing a helmet but because you can’t physically see his injuries and he says he is ok it doesn’t mean that a second impact like that in the space of a month wouldn’t cause him permanent damage. Dale Earnhardts crash looked like nothing and that killed him. Maybe you are so used to drivers walking away from crashes that you think a relatively low speed crash like Alonso’s should be nothing, but a lateral crash at 90mph is massive

      5. So much ridiculous speculation. You don’t need to be a doctor to know that suffering two concussions in a short period of time is a seriously bad thing. Fernando may have fully recovered but that doesn’t change the fact that he was concussed two weeks ago. I think it’s completely understandable that it’s a risk that’s simply not worth taking, especially at Melbourne where most of the track is lined with concrete barriers.

      6. I am convinced NOTHING will please everyone, no matter what explanation is given to any event, including this one. People, you really need to find something better to do then fess over this incident. its like preschool all over again.

    3. I also play rugby, so I know all too well the dangers of multiple concussions. Second impact syndrome is a serious problem, there was a headline death in Ireland of a school kid who died, the article claimed, of the effects of the second impact syndrome. In that case the two impact apparently occurred in the same game – so within around 80 minutes. I did not know that the dangers of this extended so long but if the doctors in the know are saying there is a danger of this if Alonso were to have a crash then I believe them. It is odd however, that this isn’t a more common occurrence after a crash, there have been some much bigger crashes, where concussion was likely, that the driver didn’t have to wait out the next race. I don’t know if there are some other factors involved that means Alonso is more at risk than others, or if the wind just blew him into the wall and he hit it awkwardly, giving him a bad concussion in the process. Its an odd situation regardless.

    4. machinesteve
      4th March 2015, 10:44

      So Brundle is a medical doctor now? How about this guess: After a serious head injury Alonso is banned from flying long haul – not unexpected. So short of going by boat or horse or walking, he can’t make it to Australia. No conspiracy, nothing weird, nothing too worrying just normal. End of.


    5. Oh my God, did you read the first paragraph?

  3. Feel bad for Alonso, but it’s totally the right decision. Head injuries are one of thoe things you just don’t want to take any risks with whatsoever.

    1. In light of Bianchi and Schumacher’s injuries last year, I think all but the foolhardy and uninformed understand the prudence exercised by Alonso, his doctors and McLaren. Well done to all for putting long term health first!

      1. Exactly. After those two examples of severe head injuries, you really can’t blame anyone from erring on the side of caution. I’m extremely disappointed Nando won’t be on the grid but I’d much rather that than the worse alternative. Anyone know if he still intends on travelling to Melbourne as a spectator?

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd March 2015, 22:02

      +1, @mazdachris

      PS – I now have a head injury as well reading some the comments by retarded ill-informed pseudo doctor commenting on the severity of the injury.

      1. @coldfly

        Mate you had better sit out reading the posts on Alonso’s condition till after the Aus GP, :)

        For your safety ColdFly, Please, you dont need another concussion lol.

    3. @mazdachris, I agree, we also should take account of the doctors situation, a doctor has to be continually thinking of how the worst case scenario will be treated at an inquest, they have nothing to lose by erring on the side of caution but they have their whole career to lose if they condone the slightest risk.

  4. Worsts start to his Mclaren 2nd stint but i hope he gets better and fit so that he can get back on track with out any doubt.

  5. I somehow had a feeling. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but I always felt that he would miss the OZ GP. Still a big blow though.

  6. At least Kevin Magnussen won’t be wasted in that McLaren seat this year. I think he’ll be properly motivated to beat Button this time around!

    1. I meant test driver seat of course!

    2. Indeed… I suspect he’ll be hugely motivated to beat Button. The likelihood is that neither car will finish – just my opinion.

    3. Well.. Magnussen beat Button in Australia last year. In qualifying(by a significant margin) and in the race

      1. @dam00r Yeah, imagine if KM beats JB comprehensively (unlikely)! I can’t wait to see Ron’s and the media’s reaction to that!

        P.S. I don’t have a favorite of one over the other.

        1. …. Well, he did last year…. And then got comprehensively rolled over the course of the season…

        2. @mashiat Button got the seat because of bringing more sponsor money than Magnussen would have done. (McLaren visited Lego in Denmark to negotiate sponsor money)

          1. Lego did not want to sponsor

          2. What sponsor does Button bring with him?

          3. ColdFly F1 (@)
            3rd March 2015, 22:06

            @dam00r, imagine ‘The Lego F1 Car’.
            Although thinking of it, I used to have less reliability issues when playing with Lego than McLaren had so far this year ;)

          4. @dam00r Button doesn’t bring much other than a bit of money from Santander. He was retained over Magnussen because McLaren stuck to their mantra of fielding the two best drivers available.

  7. its not entirely surprising to see his advised not to race in melbourne.

    i suffered a concussion myself 3-4 years back & in my case i was advised to avoid activities which could result in further knocks to the head for upto a month after the initial injury.
    i was told at the time that there is an increased risk of a further concussion in the weeks after the initial one & thats its best to try & avoid that & a secondary one tends to be more serious with longer lasting complications.

  8. Not a huge surprise looking at how recent the concussion was but it’s good to see F1 joining a global trend in dealing with concussions more seriously. There’s a long way to go but hopefully seeing athletes at the very top level taking time out to recover from concussions and not risk further injuries will filter down to youth level sports where all too often decisions are left in the hands of coaches and players and where concussion protocols are not widely used yet.

  9. petebaldwin (@)
    3rd March 2015, 12:27

    Considering McLaren’s only goal in Australia is to make the finish, it doesn’t seem worth the risk to race Alonso. I imagine if this was nearer the end of the season in a title fight, they’d take the risk!

    1. You may very well be right about this. Letting Alonso rest from what is essentially another test sesison is not very significant.

    2. I hope that McLaren would follow medical advice in any situation. Whether the next race is the season opener or a world championship decider shouldn’t really matter – Alonso’s health has to come first. It’s really best not to take any risks with head injuries.

  10. It seems as though the NFL concussion settlement has the entire sporting world looking at concussions in a wholly more serious light than before.

    Which is by no means a bad thing, of course.

    1. Just playing it safe, I guess. Even in the NRL here in Australia, players who are involved in a head clash must be taken off the field for mandatory checks before they’re allowed to play on.

  11. Dang… what a shame ! I hope he’s fit enough to race at Sepang…

  12. So that’s a serious concussion?

    1. I’d say it’s a serious precaution?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd March 2015, 22:07


  13. Shouldn’t change things too much, I don’t expect the car to finish in the top 10 anyway …

  14. I don’t think he’ll miss much. Better to miss the first race than a later one when the car and engine are sorted.

  15. this just adds fuel to conspiracy theorist. something not right with that crash.

    1. It’s a bit odd that they haven’t been able to determine the cause of the accident.

    2. Maybe he threats FIA if Honda not given engine freeze relax then he will admitting “something” in the past? Then “someone” decided to do “anything” to prevent this.

  16. I’m not one to quickly believe rumors, but I found this one and I was wondering if the website had good or bad reputation (never heard of it before)


    It says that Fernando woke up speaking italian and believing he was still at Ferrari.

      1. Unless the source of this leak is one of the 3 or 4 medical professionals who attended to Alonso on the circuit right after the crash , it does not have any value at all. IMHO such medical professionals would not have made such a leak.

        Overall the report looks pretty shady…

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd March 2015, 22:19

        @alsenes, the site is a Blog (opinion site) but presenting stuff as news without sharing (most of) the sources.
        Also the blogger is an ex Bild (German tabloid) journalist. I do not doubt his passion for F1, but based on his resume hardly an ace journalist.

        FYI @keithcollantine

    1. As the Mclaren is so slow it’s not surprising he thought he was still in a Ferrari.

      1. Which (Ferrari) is not fast either … LOL

    2. They are also saying that the cause of Alonso’s troubles is almost certain a high voltage shock (600 Volts)…


    3. And as well as speaking Italian……there was a danger he would have driven into his old teams pit box, although you don’t need concussion to do that (do you Lewis??)……Get better Alonso….you are not missing a race, just 10 laps…..assuming they both start that is…

      1. Google translate maybe?

  17. If anyone here follows Rugby Union the sport is currently going through a massive concussion awareness including a minimum 2 week rest following the end of concussion symptoms. This is normally from a person on person collison rather than one at over 100mph with a concrete wall (albeit with a helmet).

    This medical advice in sports has only come in the last couple of years from Rugby and in the NFL – both sports where minor head injuries are common. Over the past few years (and the last 24 months in particular) the awareness of concussion and especially the impacts of a concussion on a already concussed brain have become widely known and studied. This is in line with medical advice and Alonso will have to show he is concussion free for a number of weeks before doctors would say that it is safe to race, this may well be longer than other sports due to the nature and force of impacts that are possible in motor racing.

  18. I am no doctor, so I fully respect their advice. Concussions are serious and should be treated seriously, they are like hidden threats. God forbid if a second one happens on the same area if it is not fully recovered. As much as I would have wanted Alonso to race, his health and that of the other drivers, is more important.
    Good luck to McLaren and Alonso.

  19. Well, it’s Australia so what are the odds on Magnussen getting on the podium?

    On a more serious note, this crashgate (no pun intended, Fernando) has been quite weird but right now it is really much more important for Alonso to get 100% fit and avoid any unnecessary risks. As for McLaren, they will not be fighting for titles this year and the beginning of the season should be particularly tough so it is important that they take good care of their main asset, they are really going to need it later.

  20. I don’t buy it. How often have we seen concussed drivers return within a week or two week period? Very often. Even Kubica was back really quickly.

    1. When Perez got concussed at Monaco in 2011, he had to miss the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks later.
      Perez’s accident was also a side-on impact, which means that there is no bodywork deformation and the HANS device isn’t as effective at stopping head movement during a crash. Hitting a concrete wall side-on probably resulted in a lot of sideways head movement during the crash for Alonso, even if it was only 135 km impact.

      1. I also remember Perez saying he didn’t really feel 100% until the Hungarian GP, which was 2 months later. So I’m not surprised that Alonso isn’t taking part in Australia, especially because of the risk of another concussion so soon afterwards.

        Hopefully he can be back in the car for Malaysia though.

        1. I was also going to bring up Perez’s situation too – yes, Perez did return to the cockpit quite rapidly but, as you say, he ended up suffering from further complications because of that.
          Equally, in 2007 Kubica was withdrawn from the US GP because he suffered from a concussion in his accident in the Canadian GP, and therefore did not drive for a comparable period of time (circa three weeks).

          As Tobias Gruner has pointed out, what was unusual in Alonso’s crash was not the peak G force he was subjected to, but the fact that he was exposed to a period of sustained lateral G loads because of the way that the car slid along the barrier.

  21. Even though I am not an ALO fan, I always enjoy seeing him on track. I don’t think though this would be a huge loss though as McLaren won’t probably get to the flag or would be woefully off-pace.

    So although this not good, but downside of risking another concussion is not worst the little upsides here.

    1. of course I meant “worth” rather than “worst”. Damn auto correct…

  22. I think for those who are having trouble understanding this decision, you need to realise that in recent years there has been a significant change in our understanding of concussion and the medical implications. What used to be seen as merely a short period of recovery to a blow the the head, is now taken as a serious injury which can carry risks for the patient long after any symptoms have disappeared. This is why there is such a step change in how these injuries are regarded in sport, particularly sports like Rugby and American Football, where there was a history of not taking these injuries seriously, nor any consideration given to the cumulative effect of multiple head traumas.

    Edd Straw retweeted this journal, and it’s really well worth a read through, especially if you don’t understand why Alonso’s concussion is being taken so seriously. http://www.fiainstitute.com/Documents/Auto+Medical2.pdf Read from page 36 onwards.

    1. Has it developed that much since, say, 2011? Perez? Two weeks and back? And that was a worse crash.

      1. Yes it has, very significantly.

      2. Well, after crashing in Monaco, Perez didn’t actually participate in the Canadian GP two weeks later – he said he felt dizzy in the car during practice and sat out the rest of the weekend. So he didn’t actually participate in another race until the European GP a further two weeks later, meaning that it was four weeks after his crash before he raced again (May 29 2011 to 26 June 2011).

    2. Thanks for the link. Very enlightening read.

  23. I just don’t know. If it’s policy independent of clinical signs why wasn’t he always set to miss Oz?

    1. Perhaps he was always set to miss Oz, but to have announced that from the start would have made his concussion sound worse than it was? I don’t know either, but I do know that it certainly cannot hurt for him to take a couple of more weeks without risking another knock. Methinks if Oz was between him and one other driver for the WDC, he’d be there.

      1. Actually, @lockup re-reading the statement from Mac, look at the last line. It was FA’s decision. Therefore I would say he was not always going to miss Oz. They knew all along his concussion was minor, but as is normal you spend some time testing to confirm that. It was indeed confirmed all along, but leading up to a point where the team had to know, the doctors gave advice to FA, which he could have ignored, but didn’t. I think he is cleared to race, and certainly could drive the car and do the race, but the advice was to sit it out, ideally, simply as a precaution to not take another knock. So FA has chosen to do that…in time enough for Kevin to prepare.

        1. Yeah I see what you mean @robbie. Even so they say the doctors recommend it as ‘normal medical procedure’ not based on any clinical findings. So as far as that goes Oz was never on, on the face of it.

          Nando obviously is smart to take his doctor’s advice. Well I dunno, is all I can say. It’s good for Kevin as you say.

  24. Does he even want to race? noticed that he wasn’t wearing a Mclaren outfit in that last photo which is rather unusual – perhaps he’s wishing he was back in a ferrari.

    1. Fernando didn’t exactly get into ‘tennis accidents’ during the meagre years at Renault or Ferrari.

  25. What is it with McLaren and Alonso when it comes to cover ups. happened in 07 happening in 15

  26. What I personally find odd is just how much McLaren is stressing Fernando is fine. The first paragraph reads like a disclaimer; ‘it’s not our fault, we want him to race’, only in the second paragraph they get to the point.

    I don’t think there’s a conspiracy involved, only poor PR from McLaren. It’s almost as if they’re more afraid of people thinking it was up to the car than it actually is up to the car; paranoia seems to have a slight hold over some of these press releases and it seeps into the fans.

    1. I think that with the amount of conspiracy theories talking about all sorts of neurological and other reasons for passing out, it was necessary to state it 100% clearly that he is “entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike.”

  27. Mansell 2 …

  28. Oh dear. I know it would be meaningless in terms of competition in Melbourne since highly likely it would be another pre(?)-season testing, but…I just hope this injury wouldn’t do anything to his career. Wish good luck for him.

  29. I had multiple concussions throughout my life so far. Most were from playing Sports. One thing I can say about that is that there is no Time line at all for recovery. I dealt with post concussive symptoms once for seven months (head aches, nausea, vertigo,….). It also kept me from driving a car for a long period because it can make you feel like you are on high seas and get sea sick. Another thing is sensitivity to light and glare from artificial lights.
    When ever Alonso is not feeling any symptoms for a whole week, he might be cleared to race. Concussions can kill you if you don’t let your brain heal or have multiple ones within a short period of time.

    1. Compelling comment. I get the sense that indeed FA has been symptom free and this is a precaution based on doctor’s advice. Ie. look at the last line of Mac’s statement and see that it was FA’s decision. I think they would not have left it up to FA if indeed he was showing symptoms still. I think he is actually cleared to race but has chosen not to.

  30. Oh dear. I can say now that Fernando can say good-bye to the 3rd title he’s fought so hard for the last 8 years or so-for the moment. Even if he was sitting in the car in AUS, he would probably have some doubts about getting his McHonda in the points, let alone finish the race. To many Alonso fans, like myself, it’s hard to see Alonso missing valuable test time and a chance for early points while a certain German in the red tractor is putting in dangerous testing times. I agree with the doctors’ decision entirely, but I think Alonso might have actually been in the car had they been much more competitive during testing, despite rumours of him being stopped from seeing footage of the crash.

    We all hope you are fit to race in Sepang, and the third title you deserve will finally (one day??) come to you!

    1. I agree, im a Hamilton fan so really hope he gets 3 but damn Alo has been unlucky, we have watched an all time great have his peak wasted infront of us. He deserves a 3rd probably more than Hamilton but i would wish he wins 1 after Ham overtakes Seb of course.

  31. Should Alonso not show up at Sepang then it’s not a good sign. At 34 and all the heavy knocks his body has taken through his career I’m not surprised. We are not getting a clear picture from the medical reports which I can understand is a sensitive issue. Just hope this is not the beginning of the end for Alonso. All the best to Nando and that he recover soonest.

    1. Yes, maybe the docs are looking more at history, like with a boxer or NFL QB. I recall his horror-crash in Brazil, his big crash in Hungagoring in 07, getting nailed by Grosjean at Spa, any others? I don’t recall him as being in many big wrecks, but he has been around a long time. Maybe they told him, look, another “big one,” and you would be into the category of high risk of long term effects, so you decide if you want to be senile and acutely depressed at age 50. Nonetheless, if this is the approach, this is not what is happening in other sports, even in NFL where there have been a raft of rule changes to protect players from major impacts.

      1. I hope they put that three axis accelerometer in the ear phones to record the drivers crashes. They might be able to make a ‘concussion index’ for each drivers lifetime exposure. Heck, the FIA might even make another rule and force the retirement of a driver someday. It would be sad but @dmw is right, nobody wants to suffer the next 40years of their life with the consequences of brain injury.

  32. Luckily for them, if it can be said in such a situation, McLaren have the best third driver on the grid.

    1. Yes they do. And despite the limited testing allowed these days K Mags rookie season was better than the rookie seasons of Rosberg, Ricciardo, Alonso, Bottas and one could argue Button (Button got his first podium in season 5). They have all done pretty well since then but despite of this some question K Mags potential which has no foundation in facts.
      He deserves a decent shot again in a good car.

  33. I was really looking forward to the FA vs JB battle at McLaren. I fear that with this development, any time Alonso is beaten by his teammate, this injury will be mentioned.

  34. I am unsure about the rest of the world, but concussions are the biggest issue today in American sports. The studies being done on the long term effects are nothing short of shocking. Google the deaths of Dave Duerson or Junior Seau if you are interested. I would be willing to wager this is not Alonso’s first concussion. I believe short of drath or paralysis, there isn’t a worse injury for a modern day athlete than a concussion.

  35. For those who think this is weird, do some reading.
    I have read quite a bit about concussions over the last few years, as I follow some wrestling.
    http://www.chrisnowinski.com is a good site for some information.
    The last few years they are being very serious about concussions as they know begin to understand
    how bad it is to not rest a concussion. Many deaths in NFL are being linked to concussions not being treated properly. So it’s better to let it rest and be safe!

    1. Well if F1 wants to take concussions more serious then go for it but as reported from the hospital Alonso did not suffer a concussion but he did faint for unknown reasons. The big question is did he faint before or after the crash?

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        3rd March 2015, 22:45

        Alonso is a pretty good driver, but I doubt he’d be able to break and downshift if he had fainted.

    2. In the NFL, concussions are linked to suicides, murders, depression, horrible stuff. Even Steve Young, retired HoF quarterback, now needs an assistant to help him remember enough to do his job as a commentator. He retired due to concussions.

      However, the NFL is not like car racing. In many positions, those guys are in collisions every single play. Some players, like QBs and WRs, are getting planted like daisies by dudes weighing 50-100lbs more a few times per game. An F1 driver may go a year without sustaining a serious impact. The threat of repetition—the main issue in the NFL—is just not there.

      As for him fainting before the crash, I haven’t heard that substantiated, but it would be a rather interesting point. You got a link for that?

  36. He sitting out of the GP on concussion grounds it’s perfectly normal. What is not normal it’s the accident itself…

  37. Alonso missing first race is big news, but for some reason i dont care, as this year is shaping up to be one of f1s worst, as we already know who will win in melbourne. current f1 engine rules are so stupid and anti-competitiveness, maybe they saved some money, but they ruined the sport. the only 2 drivers that would hurt missing melbourne are rosberg or hamilton.

    1. Current F1 rules are not stupid because Mercedes are the best inwm working with them. Try to direct your anger at Ferrari or Renault for doing such a crap job in a relative sense.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd March 2015, 22:47

      There are a lot of ill-informed comments here, but yours beats the stupidity scale.
      If you were registered contributor then I would spend the time pointing out where IMO your argument is flawed.
      But as @john-h mentioned, it seems more of an angry rant than a serious contribution.

  38. So if JB gets some points on the board, he could steal a march and who knows, at seasons end…he may be ahead of Alonso !

  39. I think its good for him as he will have one less DNF on his resume :-P

  40. Awwww so sad!

  41. I’ll join the legion of not-doctors who find this strange. In many different major sports, an athlete who sustains a concussion, provided they are “asymptomatic,” can go back into action within a week or two. And this is post NFL-settlement practice. Last night I watched a guy play in an NCAAB game who sustained a concussion with a broken nose the week before. (Scored a double-double too.) That’s entirely normal in major “contact” sports, i.e, where players are in jarring collisions or falls as a matter of course.

  42. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    3rd March 2015, 17:40

    i have never liked alonso. hope he gets better and has a full recovery, but i wont miss him on track! hopefully, kev will run that car more than once!

  43. Timeline: crash, 2 days of conflicting stories, pr statement from mclaren about wind, pr statement from mclaren about concussion, Ron Dennis gives press conference declaring Alonso fit and healthy and that categorically he did not suffer from a concussion, 2nd pr statement from mclaren announcing Alonso suffered from concussion. Seems normal. not surprised at people drinking the pr statement kool-aid, ‘lawyers wrote it, it must be true!’

  44. As I’ve said before on here, there’s something we’re not being told here.

    Yes, I agree concussion needs to be taken seriously, yes, I agree it is entirely possible he somehow hit his head on something, but it seems odd.

    Check the crash photos – not some mad tabloid nonsense, actual photos. Of course, they’re not moving images, but they seem to suggest a VERY light brush with the wall.


    Now, we all know that even a slight knock folds an F1 car’s suspension, and the 150kph speed that’s being quoted was his speed at the apex. McLaren say he was hitting the brakes, so this suggests he was doing much less than that at impact. Again, concussion is possible, but seems unlikely. In fact, if this is the true story, I’d suggest something was wrong with the crash protection which is designed to prevent exactly this.

    I don’t see why people are shouting “conspiracy theorist!” at anyone who dares to suggest anything other than the official story. Suggesting he fainted, or had a fit, would imply he suffered a relatively common medical episode. It would make sense from a confidentiality and marketing point of view to keep it quiet. This isn’t saying aliens landed, or the “illuminati” were interfering with his brain waves, it’s something that could happen and makes sense given the circumstances

    And yes, I’m aware I’m just some random commenter on a message board, but bear in mind Gary Hartstien is of the same view. He doesn’t believe the official story and suggests we’ve “been treated like fools”.

    1. of all the people name calling and defending mclarens lawyer wrote PR statements, not one of them can explain Ron Dennis’ press conference last weak where he categorically stated alonso did not receive a concussion. Not one.

  45. Sky Italia is reporting that Alonso “confessed” to his manger and to his family that he received an electrical discharge on his back before the crash. Don’t have any idea if this is credible or not, but…

    1. @edmarques I think that something was lost in traslation. I’ll link the video of Sky Italia:
      Vanzini (the journalist) said something like this:

      We heard from sources very close to Alonso that he felt a strong shock on the spinal column. He didn’t mention an electric shock, he said that it’s very similar to the shock that you get when you have an accident on karts

      So I think that it fits the official version of the story.

      1. Good to know. I read on a site (a relly credible one) this story. But i don’t buy the wind theory.
        For me he fainted before the crash, the reason i don’t know.

  46. what part of the doctors explanation and reasoning in the article is everyone not understanding and having a pickle over? seems very strait forward to me…
    I”m convinced nothing anyone says these days will stop the conspiracy critics on any event…seriously.

  47. As a Melbourne resident and an Alonso fan this is extremely disappointing news! It will be a miracle if McLaren get any points in Austalia so he’s not missing out in that respect. I hope he is fine for Malaysia and that, at the very least, McLaren Honda get some decent running in Melbourne : (

  48. It really doesn’t matter if he misses some races but one wonders how is Alonso’s health. Something inexplicable happened in the tests and thankfully there’s no need to rush anything so I think McLaren and the doctors are just giving it time, a conscious decision in my book after such an alarming year on head injuries in sport worldwide.

  49. Maggy is back in ! Whoop Whoop !

  50. Can you say Dario Franchitti, Dale Jr ?
    Concussions are taken very seriously nowadays, NFL, Hockey, Rugby and even in soccer where after a head collision doctors examine players and can have them taken out of the game, sometimes symptoms are delayed and can persist for a long time, nothing to see here, give the lad time to heal, wouldn’t want to see anything amiss happen to him.

  51. It is likely and reasonable that Alonso sits out at The AUS GP. However, I sense that there is more to it than the medical condition of Alonso. Alonso and Ron Dennis are not aligned. I do not think this is the only spetacular news we will hear from Alonso and McLaren in 2015.

  52. I wish Alonso well in his recovery but would rather have KM in the car for the season. Maybe Alons got benched.

  53. Sorry to say, but the official explanation is ridiculous.
    “Alonso is entirely fit and healthy but as a precaution he won’t participate in the race that will take place 3 weeks after the incident”
    first, and before all the accident was very very light!! the only visible damage, a front wing destroyed, were probably made scratching the grass or the keb.
    are there any similar accident in this area? because he doesn’t even seem to lose control of the car.
    and then we are not talking abour a sunday motorist! alonso is probably the most experienced and physically fit guy on the grid. we have seen far more violent crashes in the recent years, with drivers declaring back pain and headaches, undergoing full medical check before being released couple of days later.

    all this is actually quite worrying. who knows what happened, but it could be car related, like an electric shock (the italian journo said that Alonso received 600V that caused veins contraction and difficulty focusing), or a health issue with alonso that explains why he seems to have lost consciousness and hurt himself.

  54. Like it matters. McLaren will be lucky to finish lap one in Australia anyway.

  55. Accordin to El Pais (spanish most important newspaper) Alonso lost his memory due to the accident in Barcelona, right after the crash the doctors asked him “What is your name and what do you for living?” He answerd, “My name is Fernando, I drive Karts and I would like to become a F1 pilot” he beleived it was 1995 and he could not remeber anything about the last 20 years for almost 1 week, he did not remeber his 2 champinship wins, nor the 4 Champions league wins of his football team (Real Madrid) (link here in spanish)

  56. “My name is Fernando. I race karts. I want to be a Formula 1 driver” FERNANDO LOST HIS MEMORY FOR ALMOST ONE WEEK LINK IN ENGLISH HERE

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