McLaren have confirmed that a mechanical fault was not to blame for Fernando Alonso’s testing crash on Sunday which resulted in the Spaniard being airlifted to hospital.
The team have confirmed that the 33-year-old is making a speedy recovery from the accident, but is likely to remain in hospital for a second night as a precaution.
“We are pleased to confirm that Fernando Alonso is making a solid recovery in hospital, and is chatting to family, friends and hospital staff,” read a statement.
“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 “strange” crash, as it was described by Sebastian Vettel, has generated several rumours as to what may have caused Alonso to suddenly veer right into the trackside wall.
McLaren has dismissed those claims and says a mechanical fault wasn’t to blame, but high winds and a sudden loss and then regaining of traction led to Alonso hitting the wall.
“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,” explained the statament.
“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.
“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.
“We wish Fernando a very speedy recovery. As and when we have further updates to share, we will of course do so.”