McLaren Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is on the road to a solid recovery in hospital following his test crash on Sunday.
According to a release by the Woking-based team, the 33-year-old Spaniard has been chatting to family, friends and staff at the hospital; however it is unknown at this stage whether he will participate in the final pre-season test which begins later this week.
Alonso crashed out in turn three prior to lunch on the final day at Circuit de Cataluña, just outside Barcelona and after some first aid at the scene was airlifted to hospital.
After a raft of precautionary scans, the double-World Champion is to stay in hospital for an extra night to allow him to recuperate from the incident and the lingering effects of the medication.
While McLaren admit that is still early in the process of investigating the cause of the incident, the team have been able to reveal that Alonso’s MP4-30 “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.”
In the release, the team suggest that the nature of the accident may have, quite unusually, been “caused by the unpredictably gusty winds at that part of the circuit at that time” – an issue also reported by Toro Rosso debutante Carlos Sainz.
The team also found no evidence to indicate a mechanical or aerodynamic failure, while also confirming that there were no electrical discharges from the car’s ERS unit. Alonso’s actions in the car – downshifting and applying the brake up until contact – also indicate that he was conscious during the “crash action.”
Following the initial contact, the car slid down the inside wall for fifteen seconds, rendering damage to front upright and axle. There was no damage sustained by the bodywork or crash structure between the front and rear wheels.
Alonso’s personal manager, Luis Garcia Abad, tweeted a picture of the McLaren giving the thumbs up from his hospital bed earlier this evening.