Feb.26 (GMM) He was in hospital for four days, and is absent at the final winter test in Barcelona, but Fernando Alonso is “categorically not injured”.
That was the insistence on Thursday of McLaren supremo Ron Dennis, who at the Circuit de Catalunya addressed the ranks of international media following the controversy and conspiracy theories in the wake of Alonso’s crash last Sunday.
It was the length of the Spaniard’s hospitalisation, and the fact he is still being barred from driving, that has put McLaren-Honda under the spotlight after the team dismissed a “normal” accident and insisted its star 33-year-old driver was not at all hurt.
What followed was an explosion of speculation, causing fans and reporters to wonder whether Honda’s new technology had electrocuted Alonso, rendering him unconscious before he hit the wall on the final day of last week’s test.
After Alonso’s four days in hospital, however, Dennis told reporters that Alonso “wanted to test” this week, “but doctors have told him he needs to rest”.
“They wanted to make sure everything was perfect before he was discharged.
“He’s pushing very hard to get in the car,” Dennis added. “Doctors are saying no. All he wants to do at the moment is race and test.”
He said Alonso “should be fine” for the Melbourne season opener in two weeks.
Dennis admitted that Alonso was briefly knocked out in the crash but only for “a few seconds”, and that “head injuries have taken centre stage at the moment. People are super-careful.”
But he insisted: “(There was) categorically no injury, no electric shock, no car failure. He’s not even concussed.”
Dennis denied there is any more to the story, saying McLaren is “trying to be transparent” and insisting nothing is being “concealed”.
He also said that, before crashing, Alonso had told the team that driving through turn 3 was difficult because of the wind.