Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda struck the wall at 105 kilometres per hour last Sunday on day four of testing at Circuit de Catalunya.
That was the claim on Friday of Auto Motor und Sport, as the period of great mystery and controversy surrounding the Spaniard’s bizarre accident continues.
Many eyes are pointing in McLaren-Honda’s direction, wondering if the Woking camp is being defensive in order to protect itself or its star driver.
For instance, when Ron Dennis addressed the ranks of international media on Thursday, he failed to present any video, medical or telemetry data to back the official story. Felipe Massa, however, hit back at the conspiracies.
“Why would McLaren lie?” said the Brazilian. “They know perfectly well that the FIA investigation will reveal everything.”
The biggest mystery is how an apparently minor accident, causing little visible damage to the MP4-30, could have damaged Alonso the point that he was knocked out, left with amnesia, and needed four days in hospital.
Not only that, he is sitting out this week’s Barcelona testing and is even in doubt for the Australian grand prix in two weeks.
Romain Grosjean, however, told reporters that he can imagine how the damage was done.
“If you hit sideways,” said the Frenchman, “the wishbones are not designed to break that way. If it stays in one piece, the energy has to go somewhere and that’s in the driver.”
McLaren may not have divulged telemetry evidence, but GPS data of the crash has now emerged.
Auto Motor und Sport said the speed of Alonso’s crash was calculated based on rival teams’ GPS information, showing that the 33-year-old lost control in turn three at just 135kph — much slower than if he had been on the limit. He hit the wall at 105kph, the report added.
The German report also claimed that the first impact was recorded at 31G in the car, but just 16G in the accelerometer located in Alonso’s ear.
And Auto Motor und Sport continued: “Alonso’s helmet looked brand new, as though it had come straight out of the packet. Not a single scratch.”
Correspondent Michael Schmidt quoted a paddock voice as saying: “Maybe Fernando had a medical problem, such as a small stroke. That would better explain the doctor’s caution and the long hospitalisation.”