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Papers: 'Fernando Alonso survival a miracle' after Australian GP crash

Tribute to the crash structures of modern cars in Fleet Street while McLaren played their part in safety revolution

Fernando Alonso's survival following his high-speed crash at the Australian GP has led to praise for the safety improvements in Formula 1 in Monday's papers.

The Spaniard's McLaren was flung through the air after its collision with the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez but he clambered out of the car with no major injury, waving to fans and conducting interviews within moments.

Alonso added he was 'lucky to be alive' and immediately thought of his mother's anxiety after she watched it all take place at home in Oviedo.

While his car was left in a crumpled heap the carbon fibre tub that surrounds the driver and acts as a survival cell stayed in tact and The Times' Kevin Eason wrote: 'The consequences of this crash could have been much more serious and it is a tribute to the crash structures of modern F1 cars that Alonso was able to climb out unharmed.'

Daniel Johnson of The Telegraph was singing to the same tune. 'What a marvel the safety of modern F1 cars is,' he wrote.

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McLaren's Fernando Alonso reflects upon his dramatic crash in the Australian GP and says he is luck to walk away from such a scary moment.

The horror crash drew comparisons to Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle's accident at the same spot in Melbourne's inaugural grand prix in 1996, while McLaren's involvement in the revolution of driver protection was also mentioned.

The Daily Mail's Jonathan McEvoy cited that it was a 'miracle' that the two-time world champion was alive and well in the motorhome after the race, and wrote: 'McLaren have played their part, too. They were the first team to design a carbon-fibre chassis, rather than aluminium ones, in 1981.

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McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Haas' Esteban Gutierrez collide in the Australian Grand Prix leading to the Spaniard being sent airborne and the race to be r

'When their driver John Watson crashed at high speed in Monza that year, the innovation allowed him to walk away.'

The race was halted for 20 minutes after the red flags and with all drivers pulled into the pits, the change in strategy resulted in a shift in momentum and an entertaining afternoon at Albert Park.

Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton went toe to toe for second place with Nico Rosberg storming ahead for victory, and Johnson added: 'The two best drivers of their generation dicing so early in the season was exactly what the sport needed.'

Elsewhere, Haas and Romain Grosjean managed a sixth-placed finish while there were squabbles in the Toro Rosso camp with Max Verstappen urging his team to instruct Carlos Sainz to let him pass. Sunday was a turnaround after a qualifying session that was plagued by criticism of new rules and a lack of action.

'The race was a helter-skelter affair of drama and entertainment; just the way it should be,' Byron Young wrote in The Mirror.

Added Eason: 'Like Lazarus, though, F1 rose from a dead Saturday to a grand prix that fizzed with life.'

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After a slightly shaky start to the Australian GP, Nico Rosberg said Mercedes nailed the strategy battling with Ferrari.

Rosberg took full advantage of Ferrari's error when it came to tyres at the restart, and Hamilton's after his poor start from pole, and The Guardian's Paul Weaver said the German was in fact 'outclassed' by his Mercedes team-mate.

'Rosberg had an indifferent week in the end,' he wrote. 'He crashed his car in practice and was outclassed by Hamilton in qualifying. This race was handed to him but it is difficult to argue with four straight wins.'

Don't miss the F1 Report for all the reaction and analysis from the Australian GP. Natalie Pinkham is joined by David Brabham and former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley on Wednesday at 8:30pm on Sky F1.

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