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Alonso crash riddle: what happened in the last 3 seconds?

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The mystery of the Alonso crash
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E This could be an accident that the FIA will never enlighten. Fernando Alonso's crash on the fourth day of testing in Barcelona continues to pose great puzzles. This has only happened once in the FIA's accident research, in a race in a lower formula class.

At that time, one car drove on top of another, climbed on and landed headlong on the other driver. The driver in the lower car was unharmed, but his helmet was in terrible condition. Despite a reconstruction of the accident in the laboratory, it was never possible to determine why.

This discrepancy also exists at Alonso. The data say exactly what happened in Alonso's 21st lap on February 22nd in the Curva Renault of the Circuit de Catalunya. But that's not the problem. You don't know why the accident went like this. The only person who could solve the problem cannot remember. Alonso has a blackout for the time of the accident.

Alonso brakes and shifts down 3 gears

According to the data, Alonso's top speed at the entrance to the long right-hand bend is 215 km /h. Then the Spaniard fully applies the brakes and downshifts three times. The McLaren remains relatively stable on its line in this phase.

Why Alonso delayed so extremely is unclear. McLaren assumes that the strong crosswind played a role. But in such cases a driver of the class of an Alonso does not normally brake as hard. Especially since there is still enough asphalt on the outside of Turn 3 to save yourself. One downshift is enough.

When the speed dropped to 135 km /h, the data shows the second oddity. The McLaren turns abruptly towards the inside of the corner. But why? Apparently Alonso himself steered to the right. From then on, the pilot loses control.

A report by the BBC, which indicated a speed of 215 km /h at the time of the loss of control, caused some irritation last week. But at the time in the first part of the curve Alonso was apparently still able to react.

Only 30 km /h deceleration in 3 seconds

Phase 3 of the accident is followed by the greatest mystery. The McLaren heads straight for the wall on its wrong track inwards and crashes against it at a right angle at 105 km /hTrack limitation that the first impact is relatively hard with 31g. For Vettel, Alonso's trip into the wall didn't look like a real accident.

It's funny that the driver apparently made no attempt in these last three seconds to steer away from the wall. Or continue to brake. He only loses 30 km /h in this period of time.

It is also funny that McLaren said at the press conference that these last seconds could not be understood. This gives rise to the suspicion that in order to protect the driver, one might want to withhold a crucial detail. Namely, that Alonso did nothing during this period to prevent or attenuate the wall impact.

Team principal Ron Dennis admitted that Alonso was briefly passed out. He also admitted that it was impossible to say with any certainty what caused this unconsciousness. The FIA ​​wants to find out now. Was the first blow against the wall enough that Alonso was briefly knocked out. went? According to Dennis, almost half of the car's impact energy was measured in the earplug sensors. It was 16g.

According to eyewitnesses, the helmet was not damaged. Not even scratch marks. Now the head and neck protection of the car is being examined more closely. From its deformation you can perhaps tell whether the whip from right to left might have knocked out the pilot.

Damage to the McLaren can be ruled out

If you interpret the data logically, then something must have happened at the fastest cornering point that Alonso found strange. Otherwise he would not have reduced the speed so massively. According to McLaren, damage to the car can be ruled out. All data were in the green area. This has also been confirmed by FIA circles.

The FIA ​​also denies the electric shock theory. As long as the vehicle was in motion, the orange lamp shone. Ten seconds after the car stopped, the indicator light turned green. A sure sign that everything was in order in the electrical circuit.

Ron Dennis also said that certain enzymes could be used to determine within 48 hours of an accident whether the body had come into contact with electricity. That was not the case with Alonso. Dennis will hardly be so stupid as to claim that if he feared the doctors would refute him.

Did Alonso not feel completely at ease during this phase of the accident after all and therefore cast the anchor to be on the safe side? There is much to be said for it. Also the reaction to steer the car inside out of the line of fire at the last second. The fact that neither large steering movements nor braking maneuvers were then transmitted from the cockpit suggests that the driver no longer has any controls before the wall contactover his vehicle.

It seems certain that Alonso was unconscious, at least from the impact. According to the team, the McLaren needs another 15 seconds to come to a standstill. If Alonso had reacted, the braking distance would have been much shorter.

The medical findings are also puzzling. McLaren boss Ron Dennis did not initially speak of a concussion, although the pilot was briefly passed out after the impact. This usually implies a diagnosis of 'concussion'.

The only logical conclusion is that the delay of 16g ​​once and 8g the second time on the head wasn't too bad to cause this unconsciousness. So she could have had other reasons. For example a medical problem. Perhaps that's why Alonso spent 4 days in the hospital to find out exactly that.

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