Alonso does not remember crash and may miss next test

Fernando Alonso Barcelona

Fernando Alonso does not remember the crash that has landed him in a Barcelona hospital, according to his former manager and mentor Flavio Briatore.

McLaren has denied wild conspiracy theories about the cause of the accident that so far has seen the Spanish driver spend two nights in hospital recovering from concussion and the effects of his post-crash sedation.

His manager, Luis Garcia Abad, eased the F1 world’s gravest fears late on Monday when he published to social media a photo of the 33-year-old smiling and giving a thumbs-up whilst sitting in his hospital bed.

And Flavio Briatore, a guiding hand throughout Alonso’s F1 career, also played down the wilder speculation about the cause of the crash.

Fernando Alonso Interlagos 2003 crash accident

“It was just an accident,” he told RAI. “From the telemetry we see that he was trying to keep the car on the track.”

“It is the second serious accident of his career, the first (above) being in 2003 when he took a really hard impact in Sao Paulo,” the former Renault boss added.

“The important thing is that the [medical] tests are all negative,” Briatore revealed. “He does not remember the incident, but that is normal. I think [Tuesday] he will be out of the hospital.”

The 64-year-old denied wild rumours about the crash, including that Alonso was electrocuted by struggling Honda’s new energy recovery system.

“I do not understand those stories,” Briatore said. “It was a normal accident. Unfortunately, these things happen – even with a driver like Fernando – as the G-forces are tremendous. At other times you can have a much more spectacular crash and nothing happens to you.”

mclaren-honda-star-fernando-alonso-ueberstand-selt

Meanwhile it has emerged that Alonso may sit out the final test of the 2015 pre-season in the wake of his Barcelona crash.

Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad says the results of every medical test since the crash have been clear, and he further eased the F1 world’s fears late on Monday when he revealed a photo of the smiling 33-year-old sitting up in bed.

But Abad also said Alonso may need to stay in hospital for longer. The final four-day test of the winter, also to be held in Barcelona, begins on Thursday.

Abad said: “He will remain here [in hospital) for the time we need to be sure everything is right and he gets out of here and back to normal life.

Alonso McLaren Honda Barcelona

“The impact was quite hard. We have to be sure everything is fine, so I can’t say if it is one, two or three days more,” he told reporters on Monday.

McLaren-Honda admitted that it could mean Alonso misses the test, which is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, just two weeks before Melbourne season opener.

“We intend to give him every opportunity to make a rapid and complete recovery,” said the British-Japanese team, “and will evaluate in due course whether or not he will participate in the next Barcelona test.”

Manager Abad, however, said Alonso is already keen to get back to work, “Fernando is very good. Very optimistic and we are struggling to hold him back.”

Abad does not rule out Alonso being sufficiently recovered to test this week, “We’ll see what the doctors say, but right now the important thing is not winning the Barcelona test in February, but being able to fight for the championship until the month of November.”

Alonso Barcelona McLaren Honda crash

He also rubbished the wilder speculation about the cause of the crash, “There were no explosions or alien abductions or anything like that. Alonso was driving the car and reducing speed before the impact, which is something you cannot do if you are not fully aware.”

But Michael Schmidt, one of the most respected journalists in the paddock, pointed the finger at McLaren for triggering the wilder of the crash-cause theories.

“The Fernando Alonso accident shows that F1 still needs lessons in public relations,” he wrote in Auto Motor und Sport.

“McLaren’s policy of silence allowed the speculation to run wild,” Schmidt argues. “It [McLaren] could have stopped the problems with open communication.”