Now just days before the start of the season, the now-rampant doubts about Fernando Alonso’s mysterious testing crash will not go away.
Previously, suggestions there is more than meets the eye to what McLaren-Honda called a “normal” crash and concussion for the Spaniard were dismissed as mere conspiracy theories.
On Twitter, Alonso called it all “science fiction”.
But the questions about what really happened in Barcelona’s turn 3 and beyond are now being asked so widely and by so many that it is easily the hottest topic in the sport at present.
“I have been in Italy for three days,” former F1 driver Patrick Tambay told RMC Sport. “I was invited by Ferrari to see the new buildings.
“Everyone there was talking about Fernando Alonso’s accident, and they were calling it an electric discharge. There is a lot of concern for their former driver,” said the Frenchman.
Doctors around the world are hypothesising similarly.
“The known elements of the story are more than enough to say with confidence that Alonso has the typical symptoms of post-convulsive syndrome,” Antonio Picano, an Italian psychiatrist, is quoted by La Repubblica newspaper.
“It is a transient noise of the brain that after being reset by an electric shock needs a certain period of time to resume its function.”
He rubbished McLaren supremo Ron Dennis’ claim that an electric shock always leaves a certain enzyme in the body, saying that is “nonsense”.
Dr Picano added: “It is obvious that what happened to Alonso can happen to any other driver at any time.”
In Spain, newly-emerged amateur video of the incident was published by the broadcaster Antena 3, with the Italian publication Autosprint surmising that a “strange noise” was made by Alonso’s McLaren-Honda.
“What bothers me,” said 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, “is that we do not know the full story.
“The wind? Come on, it also blows at Indianapolis when you’re doing 380kph.
“Some people are talking about an electric shock but I can’t comment on that. But if there was, it would mean that you cannot race anymore with these engines.
“There is something hidden and we are not being told, and that is worrying,” Villeneuve added.
Gerhard Berger, a former grand prix winner, team owner and FIA official, urged the sport’s governing body to get to the bottom of the Alonso crash mystery.
“It is important to clarify whether it was the technology or the driver (to blame),” the great Austrian is quoted by APA news agency.
“We need to understand what has happened here — someone has been hurt,” Berger added. (GMM)