WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? Fernando Alonso will be replaced by McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen for the 2015 Australian GP. Rumours persist regarding his mysterious crash. Image: AFP
ROME, Italy - Officially, a gust of wind blew Fernando Alonso off the track on February 22, resulting in a concussion that has sidelined him for the 2015 Australian GP in Melbourne on March 15, claims McLaren.
Unofficially, rumours and doubt are still running wild.
F1 broadcaster Sky Italia claims the Alonso confided to close friends and family that he suffered a "major shock in his spine" before losing control of his McLaren-Honda and striking the wall at the Catalunya track in Spain.
The broadcaster made it clear that Alonso did not say specifically he was shocked but the report adds weight to the theory that there is more than meets the eye to the controversial crash saga.
Fabrizio Barbazza, a former F1 driver who raced in the early 1990's, was quoted by La Repubblica newspaper as saying: "Fernando took a 600W (electric) hit with serious consequences. Difficulty focusing and temporary obstruction of the veins."
Another disparaging voice belonged to Rene Arnoux, a winner of seven grands prix. He said at the 2015 Geneva auto show: "The recommendation of Alonso's doctors did not surprise me in the least. I'm convinced that Fernando had a physical problem before the accident.
"I have driven in F1," said the former Ferrari driver, "I know what I'm talking about. The impact was lateral, more of a glancing blow, and it does not explain the damage (to Alonso). I firmly believe Alonso felt wrong at the steering-wheel.
"That there was wind was used as a welcome excuse."
SECOND IMPACT SYNDROME
A neurosurgeon at Barcelona's Quiron Dexeus hospital, Dr Roberto Belvis, also furrowed his brow at McLaren saying the risk of Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) sidelined Alonso.
He explained: "Preventing SIS is not logical if there are no symptoms of concussion. Once recovered, if there are no headaches, concentration problems or if the patient is speaking correctly, then there is no danger of a second impact."
Another theory, he said, was that Alonso's loss of consciousness remains unexplained.
Belvis told the Spanish sports daily AS: "If there was an unexplained loss of consciousness," "it is prudent for Alonso not to drive for three or four weeks and to continue having tests but it doesn't make sense to tell the media that he is 100% recovered but he will not compete due to SIS."
RULED OUT OF OZ GP
On Tuesday (March 3), McLaren stated that Alonso would not race at the season-opening 2015 Australian GP. McLaren confirmed that Alonso would undergo physical training in preparation for the 2015 Malaysian GP on March 29.
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