Alonso concussed after crash

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Fernando Alonso spent Sunday night in hospital after suffering concussion in a heavy crash in testing in Barcelona.

The 33-year-old’s McLaren-Honda left the Circuit de Catalunya track at Turn Three and hit the wall side on during the final day of the Formula One pre-season test.

Alonso was moved to the circuit’s medical facility by ambulance after the accident and later transferred to hospital by helicopter.

McLaren issued a statement saying the two-time world champion was conscious and had spoken to doctors, and racing director Eric Boullier was later able to give a positive update on Alonso’s condition.

The Spaniard had CT and MRI scans that were both clear but was due to be kept in hospital for 24 hours.

Boullier was keen to quash speculation about what caused the crash, saying on the McLaren website: “Fernando’s accident was just one of those things that happens in testing.

“Fortunately, he’s fine, but was concussed during the accident, which therefore required an overnight stay in hospital as a precaution. That’s normal practice after a concussion.

“Inevitably, some media reports have sought to exaggerate the severity of the incident – it was just a normal testing accident.”

Prior to the crash, McLaren had endured a disappointing test session, with a faulty seal on the MGU-K – one of the energy recovery systems on the car – causing repeated problems.

The issue first surfaced on Thursday but a revised part fitted on Saturday did not resolve the problem and McLaren were forced to run with reduced power for the rest of the day.

Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button had been due to take over in the afternoon but McLaren brought an early end to their testing having completed only 104 laps in four days.

They will hope for better in the final test of pre-season next week.

Boullier said: “While the car wasn’t particularly badly damaged, it was enough of an impact to warrant quite a lengthy check of the gearbox and power unit systems.

“Given the time needed to carry out such an analysis, we decided to bring the curtain down on our test a few hours earlier than anticipated.

“It’s been a tough week for the whole team, but we’ll be back, and pushing harder than ever, in Barcelona next week.”

Romain Grosjean was the fastest driver of the day, putting Lotus at the top of the standings for the third time in four days.

But Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg shrugged off an early spin to set the second fastest time despite using less favourable tyres.

There were four red flags during the afternoon session, with morning pace-setter Carlos Sainz Jr also crashing at Turn Three.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat set the third fastest time of the day with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr in fourth despite a late mechanical problem.

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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