The truth – and fiction – about Alonso's Barcelona test crash

We've collected the wildest stories written in the world's media about Fernando Alonso's crash at Barcelona. One thing is for certain: they can't all be true...

The truth – and fiction – about Alonso's Barcelona test crash
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-30
The McLaren MP4-30 of Fernando Alonso, McLaren is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck
Fernando Alonso, McLaren is brought to the paddock area in an ambulance
Fernando Alonso, McLaren is airlifted from the circuit in a helicopter
Tyre marks from Fernando Alonso's crash
Tyre marks from Fernando Alonso's crash
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
(L to R): Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director with Ron Dennis, McLaren Executive Chairman
Ron Dennis, Chairman & CEO of McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren

Since Fernando Alonso crashed at Barcelona during testing over 10 days ago, new conspiracy theories and wild stories about the reasons for his accident and the events in the aftermath have appeared online on a daily basis.

The lack of official information in the 24 hours following the crash did not help matters, and speculation has run wild since then.

Some of the rumours have been denied, others are still doing the rounds.

The truths

Alonso was knocked unconscious

Although initially it was denied that Alonso had lost consciousness, McLaren boss Ron Dennis revealed later in the week that the two-time champion had, in fact, being unconscious for a few seconds.

But McLaren denied Alonso lost consciousness before the crash, and said the momentary loss of awareness was just a result of the impact.

It was not a normal testing accident

McLaren claimed initially Alonso's had been a "normal" testing accident, but his longer-than-expected stay in hospital, and the news that he will miss the Australian Grand Prix, suggested differently.

At the end of the day, head injuries and the precautions to avoid them are perhaps something that the team had underestimated.

Alonso did not suffer concussion

This one was not a conspiracy theory or even wild speculation, but it has still led to confusion.

McLaren said 28 hours after the crash that Alonso had suffered concussion. Later in the week, team boss Ron Dennis decided to address the media to clear the situation up and to clarify or deny the post-crash reports appearing faster than you could read them.

During that press conference, Dennis said Alonso had not actually suffered concussion, only the symptoms.

On the statement released earlier this week McLaren said Alonso would not race in Australia "following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident".

Hopefully in a few weeks' time all this will be history when Alonso takes to the track in first practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The rumours

Alonso woke up from the crash speaking Italian

McLaren boss Ron Dennis admitted Alonso had lost consciousness in the crash, and that he was suffering from memory loss, a normal symptom in incident such as this one.

Ralf Bach, a German F1 correspondent for Sport Bild and TZ Munchen, wrote on his blog f1-insider.com that Alonso had woken up from the crash thinking he was still driving from Ferrari, and speaking Italian.

Alonso's memory was stuck in the past for a week

Spain's El Pais newspaper goes even further, claiming Alonso suffered an even bigger loss of memory, the Spaniard thinking he was 13 when he regained consciousness.

"I'm Fernando. I race karts and I want to be a Formula One driver," Alonso told doctors according to the report.

El Pais writes Alonso needed a full week to recover his memories from the past 20 years, including his two world titles.

Alonso received a big electrical shock in the car

The theory about the electrical shock has been widely reported in media all over the world.

McLaren's denial did not help ease off the rumours, with Sky Italia claiming Alonso told friends he had felt "major shock in his spine" before crashing.

The matter took an even stranger twist when Fabrizio Barbazza, a former Formula One driver, wrote he knew from his sources that Alonso "took a 600 watt hit".

Teams threatened boycott over Alonso's crash

Sport Bild took that electrical shock stories one step further, reporting that several Formula One teams are considering boycotting the Australian Grand Prix amid safety worries.

"Several teams are thinking about not letting their drivers race in Melbourne on safety grounds," said the report from the German publication.

Sport Bild cites an unnamed team boss saying "Honda must provide answers to the FIA" in order to put the fears to rest.

That was denied by Australian GP boss Andrew Westacott on Friday.

shares
comments
Lotus F1 Team previews the opening race weekend of the 2015 Formula One season
Previous article

Lotus F1 Team previews the opening race weekend of the 2015 Formula One season

Next article

Courting controversy: is Giedo van der Garde right to chase Sauber?

Courting controversy: is Giedo van der Garde right to chase Sauber?
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022