Alonso crash not caused by any problem with car, says McLaren

Fernando Alonso remains in hospital in Barcelona as he recuperates from his accident on Sunday.

McLaren insists that the former World Champion is “making a solid recovery” and “is chatting to family, friends and hospital staff,” and that his extended stay is routine.

Meanwhile the team says that there was no failure on the car and addressed internet gossip that suggested that Alonso had lost consciousness before he crashed.

A statement said: “From the scene of the incident he was driven to the circuit’s medical centre, where he was given first aid and, as per normal procedures, was sedated in preparation for an air-lift to hospital.

“In hospital a thorough and complete analysis of his condition was performed, involving CT scans and MRI scans, all of which were completely normal.

“In order to provide the privacy and tranquillity required to facilitate a peaceful recuperation, he is being kept in hospital for further observation, and to recover from the effects of the medication that successfully managed his routine sedation yesterday.”

The team hinted that he might not drive in the second Barcelona test: “We intend to give him every opportunity to make a rapid and complete recovery, and will evaluate in due course whether or not he will participate in the next Barcelona test.”

Regarding the cause of the accident, McLaren added: “Over the past 24 hours, we have been carrying out a detailed analysis of the damage to Fernando’s car, and its associated telemetry data, in order fully to understand the cause, or causes, of his accident. Even at this early stage, we have been able to reach some firm conclusions.

“His car ran wide at the entry to Turn Three – which is a fast uphill right-hander – allowing it to run onto the Astroturf that lines the outside of the track. A consequent loss of traction caused a degree of instability, spitting it back towards the inside of the circuit, where it regained traction and struck the wall side-on.

“Our findings indicate that the accident was caused by the unpredictably gusty winds at that part of the circuit at that time, and which had affected other drivers similarly (eg, Carlos Sainz Jnr).

“We can categorically state that there is no evidence that indicates that Fernando’s car suffered mechanical failure of any kind. We can also confirm that absolutely no loss of aerodynamic pressure was recorded, which fact indicates that the car did not suffer any aerodynamic loss, despite the fact that it was subjected to a significant level of g-force. Finally, we can also disclose that no electrical discharge or irregularity of any kind occurred in the car’s ERS system, either before, during or after the incident.

“That last point refutes the erroneous rumours that have spread recently to the effect that Fernando was rendered unconscious by an electrical fault. That is simply not true. Our data clearly shows that he was downshifting while applying full brake pressure right up to the moment of the first impact – something that clearly would not have been possible had he been unconscious at the time.”

Pictures showed that Alonso sideswiped the wall, and that the wheels remained on the car.

“Our data also confirms that Fernando’s car struck the inside concrete wall, first with its front-right wheel and then with its rear-right. It was a significant lateral impact, resulting in damage to the front upright and axle.

“After the initial impact, the car slid down the wall for about 15 seconds before coming to a halt. All four wheels remained attached to the car, but no damage was sustained by the bodywork or crash structure between the front and rear wheels.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

9 responses to “Alonso crash not caused by any problem with car, says McLaren

  1. Mick

    Was he pushing a bit too hard because he wasn’t happy to be giving up the car to Jenson for the afternoon, and therefore not bothered if he broke it?

    • petes

      I know he’s the guy we all love to hate – me included – but I’d credit him with being bigger then that….

      • GeorgeK

        I prefer to think Mick forgot to add the smiley face at the end of his comment, right Mick? With a slightly bitter remembrance of Alonso 2007?

      • Mick

        I don’t hate him at all, 2007 was a long time ago. And I wasn’t suggesting he binned it on purpose. Merely that a combination of frustration at lack of track time coupled with wanting to be one up on his team mate might have meant he failed to keep the 1 or 2% within the limit that is essential when testing with lack of spare parts and spare time.

    • John

      Stupid suggestion. Why would he be like that? Both have had little running in the car so it’s only fair to share testing duties on the last day.

    • The mind boggles that a fan can think this way.

  2. Based on the descriptions & the car damage this does not seem like a big accident by F1 standards, yet Alonso seems to have suffered a pretty significant concussion/injury.

    There is clearly something to be learned from this to improve car safety in these circumstances. The lack of damage suggests that no crash structures took the hit so little energy was absorbed.

    • Will

      Agreed, the impact was severe enough to shatter the wheel rim which can be seen shedding along with debris from the wing in the photos of the accident, yet the suspension itself didn’t collapse. As you say, this prevented the side impact structures from doing their job. I think it would have been a very jarring impact as a result.

  3. DW

    There is a far bigger story here that we aren’t hearing.

    Alonso is wired up to chest monitors and in ICU … not particularly useful for monitoring a concussion.

    Since when do “just precautionary tests for concussion” require first aid on the scene, screens around him when being transported to medivac (& BTW, look at the helpers facial expressions), or admission to ICU?

    Then there was the circuits official Twitter comment during the lunch break … “It seems that @alo_oficial is ok. We hope that everything’s alright and all ends with just a shock!!”

    Vettel said he just steered into the wall, and the trackside photographers said his head was laid to the side before he hit it.

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