On the run down to Turn 3 at Albert Park, Alonso tried to move his car to the left-hand side of the track in a bid to get the outside line for the corner.
Gutierrez shifted his car slightly left and appeared to brake earlier than Alonso expected, causing the Spaniard to run over the back of the Haas driver.
Alonso’s speared into the wall before digging into the gravel at high speed, causing the car to flip in the air before coming to rest the wrong way up.
Thankfully, Alonso was able to clamber out of his McLaren unassisted, while Gutierrez was also OK. Both drivers were taken swiftly to the medical centre as a precaution though.
The race ultimately resumed after a 20-minute wait.
Fernando Alonso insists neither he nor Esteban Gutierrez was to blame for their huge crash during the 2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, and feels it was nothing more than a racing incident.
"I think it is a racing incident. We are both here talking - that's the really important point." Fernando Alonso
The stewards also concurred with that assessment, declaring - after examining video evidence and speaking to both men - that 'no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame'.
Alonso clipped the left rear of Gutierrez's Haas as the pair approached Turn 3 on lap 18, pitching his McLaren into the wall and then into an airborne barrel roll across the gravel trap. The Spaniard was able to clamber out, with Gutierrez immediately running over to check if the double world champion was okay.
"We both tried to fight and obviously sometimes we forget we are at 300km/h and every little crash can become much bigger," Alonso reflected of the crash.
"I took the slipstream as late as I could, until the braking point, and in the last moment it was a combination of factors that we ended up with a crash.
"I think it is a racing incident. It's tough, and the same for him [Gutierrez] - but we are both happy and talking here, that's the really important point."
Alonso said he was ‘lucky' to have escaped unhurt, adding: "It was a scary moment, a scary crash. You see the sky, the ground, the sky, you want to stop…
"I saw a little space to go out and went out quickly - my mum will watch TV so I want to be out quickly and say I am okay. But yeah it was quite a big one. I'm thankful to be here, especially to the FIA and continual safety - I'm probably alive because of that."