McLaren boss Ron Dennis has clarified that Fernando Alonso suffered absolutely ‘no injuries’ in his testing crash at Barcelona on Sunday.
Alonso crashed at Turn 3 on the final day of the second pre-season test, held at the Circuit de Catalunya, and was airlifted to hospital, where he spent three nights under medical observation.
Widespread rumours and speculation followed the Spaniard’s accident on Sunday, prompting McLaren to host a press briefing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday to clarify the collision and dismiss erroneous media reports.
“Fernando’s period in hospital was determined by the doctors, not by us [McLaren].,” Ron Dennis told reporters. “We were completely supportive.
“He was, as is always the case with a potential head injury, sedated here [at the circuit]. That was a completely normal process.
“He had completely clear CT and MRI scans, and at no stage during the inspection process at the hospital was there any indication of any damage to his brain.
“The level of focus on Fernando, because he is Fernando, and it was in Spain, was extreme.
“If you ask the question why he was in the hospital for three days, it’s because there was a period of unconsciousness. It was relatively short.
“When he came to rest, all we know is that the radio was on and we could hear him breathing. There were no other noises. They say it was seconds.”
Dennis rubbished rumours that Alonso was electrocuted, explaining that doctors found the Spaniard to be “devoid of all injuries”.
“We can categorically say he has no injury,” Dennis continued. “We can categorically say he didn’t suffer an electric shock. We can categorically say that, we believe, the car did not fail. Everything after that becomes subjective.
“He’s not even concussed. The technical definition of a concussion is that you can see it in a scan. The possibility is that the change of direction happened so fast that actually it was like – it’s inappropriate to use the word – a whiplash of the brain. It didn’t actually touch anything. It didn’t bruise, it didn’t bleed.
Dennis ruled out the possibility of a car failure, stating there is no evidence to suggest anything ‘abnormal’ occurred.
“Data acquisition on a modern grand prix car gives you the ability to see the loss of tyre pressure, the loss of downforce. Any condition which is going to trigger an accident will be picked up by telemetry. We detected nothing. We detected nothing in the analysis of the componentary.
“Ever single input into the car was normal, changing down gear, braking, steering, everything. We have nothing we can see that is abnormal.
“Jenson [Button] looked at the figures and said ‘that looks a bit strange’, but what’s ‘a bit strange’ when you are wrestling with a car which is being destabilised by the wind.
Finally, the McLaren boss categorically denied speculation that the team had attempted to cover up the accident.
“I’m not trying to conceal anything,” he explained. “I’m just telling you the facts: he is physically perfect. There is no concussion. He got the symptoms at one stage, but nothing that shows.
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Images courtesy of McLaren