MASSIVE SHUNT: McLaren driver Fernando Alonso waves to the crowd after walking away after a crashing into a wall at the Australian Grand Prix. Image: AFP/ Paul Crock
Melbourne, Australia - McLaren driver Fernando Alonso was wearing a bandage on his knee and a grimace on Monday (March 21) when he bumped into Blick correspondent Roger Benoit at a Melbourne beach.
The Spaniard said: "I slept badly and have sore ribs." Alonso flipped and rolled his McLaren-Honda after running into Esteban Gutierrez at 300km/h during the 2016 Australian GP.
The entire world of Formula 1 and beyond was relieved to see Alonso otherwise unscathed, and pondering what next step F1 needs to make to improve safety.
'My Mum was watching'
For instance, as the smashed remains of the car had landed upside-down, Alonso was able to quickly climb out of the open cockpit "as I knew my Mum would be watching on TV".
But if his car had the FIA-supported 'halo' device fitted, as the entire field might in 2017, would Alonso have been able to get out quite so quickly?
F1 correspondent Roger Benoit posted this tweet:
Read: Brutal Oz GP crash: Lucky Alonso thanks FIA
"It's an interesting question that we will have to consider," Alonso admitted, according to Auto Motor und Sport.
Alonso posted a photograph of the aftermath on his Instagram account with a caption: " I am aware that today I spent some of the luck remaining in life, I want to thank @mclaren, the FIA for the safety on this cars. Also my colleagues and fans for the concern and unconditional support.
Now it's time to rest and think about Bahrain, and get back in the car to get the first points of this year !! ???? #australia"
But Alonso's team mate Jenson Button says what happened on Sunday (March 20) , and the fact that 'halo' might have prevented such a quick escape, is in fact no argument against the concept.
"People talk about fire, but how many fires because of accidents have we seen in recent years?" the Briton is quoted by Speed Week.
"Okay, in an accident like Fernando's it would have taken a little longer for him to get out, but the most important thing is that Alonso is okay and the much greater risk is a driver being hit on the head.
Button added: "All other discussions are pretty irrelevant."