McLaren blames gust of wind for Alonso's heavy F1 crash

Team rules out mechanical failure as the cause of accident during the final day of testing at Barcelona on Sunday.

McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso is “making a solid recovery in hospital” – and revealed its findings about the cause of his crash at Barcelona's Turn 3 on Sunday.

The Woking-based team said that after analysing the data, it concluded that an unpredictable high gust of wind was the root cause for his McLaren-Honda MP4-30 to leave the track and hit a concrete wall.

"Even at this early stage, we have been able to reach some firm conclusions," said the team in a statement.

"His car ran wide at the entry to Turn Three – which is a fast uphill right-hander – allowing it to run onto the Astroturf that lines the outside of the track. A consequent loss of traction caused a degree of instability, spitting it back towards the inside of the circuit, where it regained traction and struck the wall side-on.

"Our findings indicate that 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 (eg: Carlos Sainz Jnr, who crashed at Turn 3 in the afternoon session).

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

"We can also confirm that absolutely no loss of aerodynamic pressure was recorded, which fact indicates that the car did not suffer any aerodynamic loss, despite the fact that it was subjected to a significant level of g-force."

No electrical shock

Speculation has been wild since the accident, with reports going as far as suggesting that Alonso was unconscious before the impact.

McLaren has rubbished the rumours, saying there was no indication of any failure in the car.

"We can also disclose that no electrical discharge or irregularity of any kind occurred in the car's ERS system, either before, during or after the incident," the statement continued.

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

"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.

"Our data also confirms that Fernando's car struck the inside concrete wall, first with its front-right wheel and then with its rear-right. It was a significant lateral impact, resulting in damage to the front upright and axle.

"After the initial impact, the car slid down the wall for about 15 seconds before coming to a halt. All four wheels remained attached to the car, but no damage was sustained by the bodywork or crash structure between the front and rear wheels."

Recovering well

The team said Alonso is making steady progress in his recovery in hospital, and that it will evaluate whether the Spaniard will take part in the final test later this week.

"Fernando is making a solid recovery in hospital, and is chatting to family, friends and hospital staff.

"From the scene of the incident he was driven to the circuit's medical centre, where he was given first aid and, as per normal procedures, was sedated in preparation for an air-lift to hospital.

"In hospital a thorough and complete analysis of his condition was performed, involving CT scans and MRI scans, all of which were completely normal.

"In order to provide the privacy and tranquillity required to facilitate a peaceful recuperation, he is being kept in hospital for further observation, and to recover from the effects of the medication that successfully managed his routine sedation yesterday.

"We intend to give him every opportunity to make a rapid and complete recovery, and will evaluate in due course whether or not he will participate in the next Barcelona test."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Carlos Sainz
Article type Breaking news
Tags alonso crash, barcelona, f1 testing