27 Mar 2015

Alonso says pre-season crash was mechanical

11:52 am on 27 March 2015

The Spanish driver Fernando Alonso has rejected McLaren's claims his pre-season testing crash was not caused by mechanical failure.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso Photo: Photosport

The double world champion, who missed the opening race in Australia earlier this month with concussion following the accident on February 22nd, said it was caused by a steering problem.

The Spaniard's comments reopen the debate about why the incident happened.

McLaren have said they found no evidence that anything went wrong with the car.

The 33-year-old had to pass a fitness test to convince F1's medics he is fit enough to race again this weekend in Malaysia.

But he was keen to set a few things straight about his high-profile crash.

Alonso says the steering "locked to the right" as he rounded Turn Three at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

He denied blacking out before the accident in Barcelona and also dismissed reports that he suffered amnesia so severe that he thought it was 1995.

Alonso also says exhaustive tests had failed to explain why his steering locked.

Alonso, who said he had temporary memory loss but blamed medication, insisted he had no concerns about his MP4-30 car, now fitted with new sensors to capture extra data.

He admitted that McLaren were wrong when they tried to blame the crash on gusts of wind. "Even a hurricane will not move the car at that speed," he said.

Speculation had swirled that Alonso may have blacked out or suffered an electric shock before the accident, which was into an inside wall on a relatively innocuous corner.

Several observers, including Alonso's team-ate Jenson Button, believed the crash was unusual and conjecture was heightened by McLaren's unconvincing response.

Alonso said it could be years before the true reason for the crash is known, after the data recorded turned up nothing unusual.

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