One of the main news stories revealed at the end of the 2014 Formula 1 season was Fernando Alonso’s big move from Ferrari to McLaren. It had been set up for a while with the Italian team releasing information about new signing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Alonso more likely to be leaving his seat than now former team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Alonso and McLaren
With winter testing in sight everyone was keen to see how Alonso would fare in the new McLaren-Honda, having driven for the team in 2007 in what was a turbulent year for the driver.
At Turn Three of a lap at the final testing session in Barcelona Alonso came off the circuit and collided with the track wall. Speculation has since been rife surrounding the events of Alonso’s crash and what actually happened whilst he was in the car.
The Spaniard was admitted to hospital for concussion, remaining there for three days, a long time for a supposedly relatively minor incident. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis initially stated that Alonso was not concussed, sparking rumours that there are issues with the car that caused the accident.
Alonso’s car crash
Events surrounding the crash seem to have been kept relatively quiet with gossip indicating that Alonso may have passed out or been electrocuted whilst driving. These suggestions don’t seem to correlate with Alonso’s actions within the car though as the 33-year-old was able to brake directly before the collision.
BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard stated in an interview that he believes that everything we’ve been told about the crash doesn’t actually add up. Conflicting reports are stating that Alonso may have a heart condition, that the car isn’t up to the job this season and also that it is all a conspiracy down to Alonso not wanting to drive such a poor car.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 7, 2015
As we have seen so far this weekend in Australia the McLaren-Honda seems to be running fine in terms of driveability, although the team do sit at the back of the grid in front of only Manor Marussia who were unable to participate at Albert Park due to software issues. This would seem to rule out the car not being suitable in terms of safety.
For now, despite Alonso claiming to be fine just days after the accident, private doctors have advised him not to compete in the first race of 2015 in case of any possible collisions that could cause ‘second impact syndrome’ in which another concussion could prove fatal. It is still currently unknown whether Alonso will make it to Malaysia a fortnight later.
Amidst all the speculation it seems now that we may never really know what happened to Alonso during his testing crash, McLaren having admitted that they themselves still don’t know the reason for the incident. It has certainly caused a stir throughout the paddock as the season begins but how he will get on at McLaren when he eventually returns remains to be seen.
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