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Fernando Alonso Q&A: Cause of crash may never be known

26 Mar 2015

All eyes were on Fernando Alonso in Malaysia on Thursday, as the double world champion prepares for his first race outing of the year - and his first since rejoining McLaren. Speaking to the media at Sepang, Alonso discussed the testing crash that caused him to miss round one, what is was like to watch the Melbourne race on television, and what his hopes are for the Kuala Lumpur weekend…

Q: Fernando, was there any doubt in your mind that you would pass the medical tests to be able to drive here?

Fernando Alonso: No doubt. I feel fit. So far all is going according to plan. In all these four weeks, all the checks that I did were following the normal protocol and I was following all the instructions for that kind of injury. Yes, I’ve missed Australia and watching the race on TV was not the nicest thing when you ought to be there, but now I am ready to help the team here as we are in a position that is quite difficult so we need the maximum work now.

Q: It is understood that you were unconscious in the car. Can you tell us what you remember?

FA: The accident I do remember. That was not a problem of consciousness. It was an issue of the steering wheel. I had a lock on the right and touched the wall - kissed the wall for some metres at a rather unfortunate angle - and one minute after the car stopped the memory was gone until I woke up in hospital. The doctor said that with the medication they gave me for the transport and the checks in the hospital it is normal that I lost the memory. This was never a problem.

Q: Is there a conflict between your version of the accident and the data that McLaren has supplied to you?

FA: No, we all agree to what has happened and we are all moving in the same direction - also together with the FIA who were very helpful in those past weeks. The issue is that from the data we don’t exactly spot the problem. From there comes no clear answer. From there the problem is not visible - and probably will never be found. The lack of instrumentation at some parts of the car will probably never give us an answer, because after one month there is still no clear evidence even though the team has been working so much and investigating all possibilities. I think right now we have the ‘healthiest’ car after all the checks – and the healthiest driver! So everything is okay.

Q: There were so many rumours in the media about your condition. What was the funniest story you read?

FA: That I woke up in 1995 and that I woke up speaking Italian, thinking that I was still with Ferrari.

Q: How are you now?

FA: I am very well. Of course, after two weeks of being a couch potato I am not one hundred percent - probably only 80 percent - but the car is also only 80 percent so we will do a test all together and following the normal program.

Q: How much did you want to go back in the car right away and not wait all these weeks and undergo all these tests?

FA: I was always looking forward. I know that motorsport is dangerous. But we all saw in Australia that the car is running without issues. And as I said that I have no problems and I do have maximum trust, so let’s go racing again. I miss the adrenalin and I do miss the driving. Of course I know that it will be a tough weekend - we saw in Australia how tough it was for the team, as the performance is not where we want it to be - but we will hopefully be there soon so it’s a real working weekend.

Q: McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier said that he doesn’t believe McLaren-Honda will be competitive until the end of the season. How does that go down with a double world champion, knowing that it will probably take years to be able to fight for a title

FA: Let’s wait and see. Maybe we find a shortcut and we are there sooner than that. Yes, right now we are far back so we will have to raise our game as soon as possible - but apart from Mercedes any team can say that they will not win this year, so we are not in a different position to many others.

Q: How difficult was it watching the Melbourne race - seeing your team mate Jenson Button fighting at the back and a Ferrari on the podium - and knowing that you will come back to a very difficult car?

FA: It was difficult to watch and not be there. Of course it was hard seeing the team struggling so much, so hopefully we can do better here. Other than that we saw a race with the Mercedes dominating, just as in 2014.

Q: Coming back to Malaysia, you just said that you’re 80 percent ready. Are you ready for 90 percent humidity?

FA: That should be fine. You just have to drink a lot - water!