Mar.4 (GMM) The world of F1 has been split down the middle by the Fernando Alonso crash saga.
In one camp are those who back the official story, believing McLaren-Honda that a gust of wind blew him off the Barcelona circuit and that the subsequent impact with the wall knocked him out.
But arguably the biggest camp belongs to those who believe there is, at the very least, more to the story.
Firstly, there are conflicting reports about the speed and trajectory at which Alonso lost control, and McLaren has neither confirmed nor denied the theories by releasing any telemetry.
Dennis did, however, admit that Jenson Button looked at the data and declared it “strange”.
“Something is amiss,” former McLaren driver and now leading British commentator Martin Brundle told the Telegraph. “Something doesn’t add up.
“It’s a very strange situation. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors around.”
According to Brundle, the basic question to answer is whether Alonso crashed and was then injured, or did he suffer a medical issue prior to hitting the wall?
“Is it cause or is it effect? We don’t know,” he said. “Everybody is a little bit coy about it so something isn’t quite right.”
For instance, while team boss Eric Boullier initially confirmed Alonso had been concussed, Ron Dennis later backtracked, insisting there was “no concussion”.
But now, McLaren says Alonso is sitting out Australia because of the risk of ‘second impact syndrome’.
The Mayo Clinic defines the syndrome as the risk of death due to “experiencing a second concussion before signs and symptoms of a first concussion have resolved”.
Notwithstanding that Dennis denied Alonso even suffered a concussion, he also explained last week that the 33-year-old is now “physically perfect”.
“There is no concussion, anything. He had the symptoms at one stage but nothing that shows” now.
At the very least, McLaren might justly be accused of communicating badly.
“It has been dealt with catastrophically badly,” agreed Oskari Saari, a pundit for Finnish television MTV3, “which is strange, because they are experienced and good communicators.”
Saari also revealed that McLaren’s doctor Aki Hintsa has been in Spain in the past days, “participating in the decision-making” about his recovery.
He added: “There are always a terrific amount of rumours in F1, but there was no electric shock or anything. It is a concussion.
“The risk (of Alonso not competing in) Malaysia is lower, but I’m still a bit sceptical about it.”