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F1 2015 Barcelona Testing

Wind caused Alonso’s crash – McLaren



McLaren has hit back at the conspiracy theories about Fernando Alonso’s testing crash on Sunday.

With the Spaniard still in intensive care, the conspicuous delay in McLaren’s explanation about the cause of the crash and his precise medical condition had fuelled wild rumours.

Was he electrocuted by KERS? Did leaking battery fumes render him drowsy or unconscious before he hit the wall? Had the newly Honda-powered MP4-30 spectacularly failed?

“It was just an accident,” Flavio Briatore, reportedly still involved in Alonso’s management, insisted to Italian radio Rai.

At the same time, McLaren finally issued a detailed media statement not only about Alonso’s health, but the circumstances of the crash at high-speed turn three.

And Alonso’s personal manager, Luis Garcia Abad, posted to social media a photograph of the smiling 33-year-old sitting up in his hospital bed.

McLaren said its star recruit is indeed making a “solid recovery”, after all medical tests so far came back with “completely normal” results.

The British team said Alonso remains in hospital for now for “observation and to recover from the effects” of medication given to sedate the driver after the crash.

McLaren also explained its radio silence in the wake of the crash, which had arguably given rise to the wildest rumours about the cause.

The team said it has been busily “carrying out a detailed analysis” of the car’s damage and telemetry, which shows that Alonso lost control when he ran onto Astroturf.

“Our findings indicate that the accident was caused by the unpredictably gusty winds at that part of the circuit at that time,” McLaren added, “and which had affected other drivers similarly” including Carlos Sainz, who also crashed.

McLaren stated “categorically” that the evidence does not point to mechanical or aerodynamic failure, and also said Honda’s energy recovery system did not shock Alonso.

“That last point refutes the erroneous rumours that have spread recently to the effect that Fernando was rendered unconscious by an electrical fault,” the team insisted.

“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.”

McLaren’s claim is also backed by emerging photographic evidence in the press, depicting a single solid tyre mark all the way to the wall, and a crash angle that was more acute than first thought.

“It was a significant lateral impact,” the team agreed.(GMM)


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