Just twenty laps were completed by McLaren-Honda on the fourth and final day of the pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya, before Fernando Alonso crashed into the inside wall on the exit of turn three, ending four days of frustrating for the Woking team.
The Spaniard was taken to the medical centre after his crash, and then to a nearby hospital for scans where he was given the all-clear following scans, but he was required to stay in hospital overnight as a precaution.
“Fernando’s accident was just one of those things that happens in testing,” said McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier. “Fortunately, he’s fine, but was concussed during the accident, which therefore required an overnight stay in hospital as a precaution. That’s normal practice after a concussion.
“Inevitably, some media reports have sought to exaggerate the severity of the incident – it was just a normal testing accident.”
Plans had been to switch drivers during the lunch break in Spain, but the accident curtailed their session, meaning Jenson Button did not get any more running with their troublesome MP4/30. The team completed just 124 laps throughout the four-day test, with other teams managing to get through more than that in a single day.
“While the car wasn’t particularly badly damaged, it was enough of an impact to warrant quite a lengthy check of the gearbox and power unit systems,” revealed Boullier. “Given the time needed to carry out such an analysis, we decided to bring the curtain down on our test a few hours earlier than anticipated.
“It’s been a tough week for the whole team, but we’ll be back, and pushing harder than ever, in Barcelona next week.”