Ron Dennis


McLaren chief executive Ron Dennis has insisted that Fernando Alonso should be ready to race at the opening Grand Prix of the season in Australia despite spending three nights in hospital following a crash in testing last week.

The 33-year-old Spaniard was airlifted to hospital after crashing into a wall at the Circuit de Cataluyna in Barcelona on Sunday, where he stayed until being released on Wednesday afternoon.

Alonso was then allowed to return home to the northern Spanish city of Oviedo for further rest and recuperation rather than taking part in the third pre-season test in Barcelona which started on Thursday.

The first race of the season takes place in Melbourne on March 15.

“He was sedated as is always the case, he went to hospital where he had a completely clear CT scan and then a completely clear MRI.

At no stage of the inspection process was there any indication of damage to his brain,” Dennis said on Thursday.

“He is completely lucid, talking, he wants to drive and wants to go testing.

“The doctor said if you really want to be sure and want to give him the best chance of going to Australia and there not being any conditions then the best thing to do is to rest him and we’re not going to go against the wishes of the doctor.

“I can’t forsee any reason why he wouldn’t (drive in Australia). There are tests laid down by the FIA and I don’t see any reason why he won’t just sail through it.”

Dennis also took the chance to strongly respond to rumours about the accident on social media and claims McLaren hadn’t been transparent with all the details of the incident in the days following the crash.

“People saying we are concealing, it is complete fabrication.

“We can categorically say he has no injury, we can categorically say he did not suffer an electric shock and we can categorically say we believe the car did not fail.”

The 67-year-old also reiterated McLaren’s belief that unusually strong winds had been the cause of the accident.

Moreover, he said the Woking-based team were fully cooperating with the FIA in trying to determine more information about the incident, but that, contrary to press reports, no formal investigation had been opened. – Agence France-Presse

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