McLaren play down Alonso memory loss

Fri Mar 6, 2015 1:30pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - McLaren have confirmed Fernando Alonso suffered temporary memory loss in a testing crash last month but played down media reports that the double world champion forgot he was a Formula One driver.

Spain's El Pais newspaper had reported on Thursday that the driver told doctors testing his recall when he regained consciousness: "My name is Fernando, I race karts. I want to be a Formula One driver."

It claimed the Spaniard could not initially remember anything after 1995.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier told Sky Sports television on Friday that Alonso had suffered "a normal concussion" with a loss of temporary memory.

"It's not as dramatic as you read in the media. Everything is back to normal," he added.

Boullier said Alonso, who joined McLaren from Ferrari at the end of last season, was frustrated not to be racing in next week's Australian season-opener but would take part in the debriefs by video link.

The Frenchman said Alonso had undergone medical tests on his reaction times and everything was normal.

"We are monitoring until the end of the recovery time," he added. "As far as we are concerned, we want him to be in the simulator not to test him but rather to update him on what we have been doing over the last two weeks."   Continued...

McLaren's Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain waves to the media as he leaves the hospital where he was hospitalized in Sant Cugat after crashing during a test session February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea