EMERGENCY RIDE FOR FERNANDO: McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso is loaded into a helicopter at the Catalunya track medical centre for a flight to hospital after crashing into the track wall. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, Spain - McLaren's Fernando Alonso was "OK and conscious" after a severe crash on the final day of pre-season Formula 1 testing here on Sunday (Feb 22 2015).
The Spaniard, twice F1 champion, hit the wall on the exit from Turn 3, which can be taken at up to 240km/h.
The 33-year-old was taken to the circuit's medical centre for an initial examination before being flown to hospital by helicopter for precautionary checks. A statement from the circuit said: “Alonso crashed in the end of Turn 3. The car crashed into the wall.”
Built-in alarms in F1 cars measure the deceleration force of a crash and International Automobile Federation rules dictate that drivers must complete hospital tests if a certain reading is exceeded.
A McLaren statement added: "Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda car left the track at Turn 3, causing the right side of his car to strike the wall. He was driven to the circuit's Medical Centre where the circuit's doctors gave him first-aid.
"He was conscious and spoke with the doctors. However, as is the usual procedure in such circumstances, he was then flown to hospital for precautionary checks."
The Circuit de Catalunya tweeted: "It seems Alonso is ok. We hope everything's all right and all ends with just a shock!!"
It was not known whether the crash was a caused by driver error or a car malfunction.
Alonso's previous team, Ferrari, which he left at the end of the 2014 season, tweeted: "All the best Fernando."