McLaren blame gusting winds for Alonso crash

Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:37am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren have blamed gusting winds for Fernando Alonso's Formula One testing crash on Sunday and dismissed 'erroneous rumors' that an electrical fault could have rendered the driver unconscious before the impact.

The team said in an update on Monday that the double world champion was making a solid recovery in hospital in Barcelona, chatting to family and friends, and would remain there under observation.

They cast doubt, however, on whether the Spaniard would take part in this week's final four-day test in Barcelona before the opening race of the season in Australia on March 15.

McLaren said a detailed analysis of damage to the car, and telemetry data, indicated "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.

"We can categorically state that there is no evidence that indicates that Fernando’s car suffered mechanical failure of any kind," they said.

The data also showed the car had no loss of aerodynamic pressure nor was there any electrical discharge or irregularity in the ERS (energy recovery) system before, during or after the incident.

"That last point refutes the erroneous rumors that have spread recently to the effect that Fernando was rendered unconscious by an electrical fault. That is simply not true," the team said.

"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."   Continued...

McLaren Formula One racing driver Fernando Alonso of Spain leaves his garage during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain February 3, 2015.   REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo