'Unpredictable winds' to blame for Alonso crash
McLaren has clarified Fernando Alonso's crash in Barcelona occurred due to unpredictable gusty winds at the circuit and confirmed the Spaniard is making a "solid recovery" in hospital.
Alonso was airlifted to hospital on the final day of the second test for precautionary tests after suffering a concussion following a crash at the exit of Turn 3. After the crash speculative reports suggested Alonso had fainted or lost consciousness at the wheel before the accident due to the distance between initial contact with the wall and where he stopped, though this contradicted official statements from both the team and the Spaniard's management.
In a statement released on Monday McLaren categorically denied any electrical shock occurred inside the car and instead blamed the high winds at the circuit on Sunday, which later in the day caught out Alonso's compatriot Carlos Sainz at the same part of the circuit. McLaren also confirmed Alonso had been applying full brakes before impact with 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," the statement said. "Even at this early stage, we have been able to reach some firm conclusions.
"His car ran wide at the entry to Turn 3 - 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."
Alonso, who suffered a concussion in the crash, was taken to hospital as a precaution after his crash and McLaren is yet to make a decision on his involvement in the final Barcelona test which begins on Thursday.
"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. 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."