McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso felt the steering on his MP4-30 go ‘heavy’ immediately before his test crash a month ago in Barcelona.
The team have therefore installed an additional sensor on both cars to measure any abnormal behaviour from the steering, as part of its efforts to avoid a repeat of the Spaniard’s crash.
“At the McLaren Technology Centre last week, Fernando met with his engineers and drove the simulator, to bring him up to date with the latest developments on the MP4-30 chassis and power unit,” confirmed the team.
“As part of that process he spent time with senior engineers, discussing the accident and reviewing the comprehensive data and analysis, all of which has been shared with the FIA.
“While there was nothing evident in the extensive car telemetry data, nor anything abnormal in the subsequent reconstructions and laboratory tests, Fernando recalls a sense of ‘heavy’ steering prior to the accident.
“Consequently, the team has fitted an additional sensor to the car, to increase our data capture.”
McLaren also confirmed Alonso’s return to the car in Malaysia this weekend, pending the outcome of a final FIA medical exam this week, which determine whether he has recovered fully from the concussion he suffered.
“McLaren-Honda is pleased to announce that, subject to a successful final FIA medical assessment this Thursday 26th March at the Sepang International Circuit, Fernando Alonso will return to the cockpit of his MP4-30 car for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
“Fernando is very much looking forward to getting back into the car and making a substantial contribution to our collective efforts with Honda, to accelerate the required improvement to our on-track performance.”