Steering wheel locked says Alonso

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso
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FERNANDO ALONSO has blown apart McLaren’s thoery a gust of wind was the cause of the pre-season testing accident which forced him out of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Alonso has been declared fit for Sunday’s race in Malaysia following an examination undertaken at the Sepang International Circuit by the FIA medical delegate and chief medical officer.

The double world champion sustained concussion from the crash, which resulted in him missing the third and final test in Barcelona, along with race at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

McLaren, now supported by new power-unit supplier Honda, immediately dismissed suggestions there was any fault with their car.

Instead, the Woking-based marque suggested it was a freak of nature that resulted in Alonso losing control of his car and hitting a wall at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Now Alonso, conducting his first media session since the accident, has claimed the steering wheel locked, forcing him off track.

“It was a normal concussion,” said Alonso. “I had it when I went to the hospital, but I went there in good condition.

“But there is a time I don’t remember, from 2pm to 6pm - something like that.

“But everything was normal because of the medication they give you to go to the helicopter, and then to do some tests at the hospital.

“So everything was normal - I didn’t wake up in ‘95, or speaking Italian, or all these things that were out there.

“I remembered the accident, and everything the following day.

“There is nothing in the data, anything clear we can spot and we can say it was that, but definitely there was a steering problem in the middle of turn three. It locked to the right.

“I approached the wall, braked at the last moment, downshifted from fifth to third.

“Unfortunately we are still missing acquisition data on that particular area of the car. It’s not at the top.

“There are some new sensors here for this race, some changes we have made to the steering rack and other parts.”

Attempting to explain McLaren’s rationale behind their early remarks, Alonso added: “Some of the confusion comes from the very early quotes and very early explanations.

“That was because the attention and stress was very high at that moment, with me in intensive care, and an urgency to say something.”

Despite the apparent issue with the car, Alonso insists he will have no problems stepping back into the cockpit for first practice on Friday.

The Spaniard said: “There are zero problems, zero worries on my side. Everything is okay.

“I fully trust the team. For one month they’ve looked at every single component, simulating and doing so many tests, changing every single part where they had some doubts.

“I think we have the safest car right now, with all the studies they’ve done.

“And after one month I’m probably the most checked driver in medical history, so we should fine - both parts!”