After a test session crash in Spain, Formula 1 (F1) world champion Fernando Alonso was airlifted from the track to a local hospital. The two-time world champion hit a wall after going off the track at Turn 3. USA Today reports that the collision with the wall did minor damage to race car. Transporting Alonso by airlift to the hospital was just a precaution according to his team.
According to a statement by McLaren-Honda, Alonso was taken to the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday after the crash. While the circuit’s doctors provided first aid for the driver, Alonso was conscious and speaking with the medical team on site. After a short time, Alonso was taken by helicopter to the hospital for precautionary checks.
NBC Sports reports that the Spaniard lost control of his McLaren MP4-30 while transitioning between the third and fourth turns of the track during Sunday’s afternoon testing session. The crash occurred near the end of the fourth and final day of testing at the circuit in Barcelona.
Alonso’s team reported about an hour later that the Spaniard’s CT scan after being airlifted to the hospital confirmed that he is uninjured and ok. Alonso had finished 20 laps during the morning session and was about to head into the pit area to hand the car over to teammate Jenson Button to continue the testing of the car. After the accident, McLaren ended its testing early.
Reports say that Alonso hit the wall at 150kph, which, according to CNN, red-flagged the testing session. While Alonso was still on the track, personnel erected a screen around the driver while he received urgent medical care on the track prior to being taken to the circuit’s medical center. While Alonso has been cleared, it is likely that the driver will stay in the hospital for 24 hours for observation.
The crash was another of many setbacks for McLaren. The new car, the MP4-30, has suffered from a number of problems, one of which forced Button to end his Saturday test session early. The season is less than a month away with the first race of the F1 season scheduled for March 15 in Australia and McLaren will have only one more four day test session to work out the gremlins.
Alonso joined McLaren this season after a less than stellar finish for Ferrari last year. The Spaniard, who finished 6th in 2014 for the prancing horse was the 2005 and 2006 World Champion for Renault. The move to McLaren for 2015, Alonso was hoping to find his way back to the top of the podium, however, with the latest problem for his new team’s car resulting in him being airlifted after the crash, the future is unclear on how the team will do in 2015.
By Cletus Dillwood