Fernando Alonso suffered 'temporary memory loss' after his crash in testing
Spaniard reported to have told doctors "I'm Fernando, I'm in karts and want to become Formula 1 driver" after accident
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 29/03/15 7:13am
McLaren have confirmed to Sky Sports that Fernando Alonso suffered 'temporary memory loss' following his accident in testing at Barcelona.
Alonso is reported to have believed the year was 1995 when he regained consciousness after being knocked out when his McLaren car hit the track wall at the Circuit de Catalunya on the final day of the second pre-season test.
"I'm Fernando, I'm in karts and want to become Formula 1 driver," Alonso told doctors, according to El Pais newspaper.
In an apparent tongue-in-cheek reference to his retrograde amnesia, Alonso tweeted on Friday: 'In a few days the championship starts and we ran out "imagination". I propose a game with RT to the most creative. #whereDidYouWakeUpToday'.
However, amid widespread speculation about the cause and effects of the crash, McLaren boss Eric Boullier has insisted that Alonso’s concussion was not as "dramatic" as depicted.
"It was just a normal concussion [with] a loss of temporary memory," Boullier told Sky Sports F1. "It's not as dramatic as you read in the media. Everything is back to normal."
McLaren chief Ron Dennis told a media conference in Barcelona that Alonso "was unconscious for a relatively short period of time" after the accident. Subsequent reports have described Alonso as being in a highly agitated state and so unaware of his surroundings that he didn’t understand why he was in a F1 car.
"It's a private matter," said Boullier. "It's up to Fernando and his doctors to decide what they want to say."
Alonso, who rejoined the McLaren team in November after five years at Ferrari, has been ruled out of the season-opening Australian GP but has resumed training ahead of a targeted return in Malaysia at the end of March. Kevin Magnussen, who Alonso has replaced as Jenson Button's team-mate, will stand in for the convalescing two-time world champion.
"He's very frustrated not to be in the car but he will be connected to us through all the debriefs by video link," said Boullier. "When you have a concussion, you have to respect a 21-day recovery period. The doctors have given us their advice and a strong recommendation which we are following."
Alonso, who spent three nights in hospital following the accident before being released into the care of his family, tweeted on Friday: "Keep working good. 30 min bike, 30 swim, 30 gym. Malaysia is one of the most demanding races, and we will be at 100%!"
Asked how Alonso would prove his fitness to return in Malaysia, Boullier replied: "There will be medical tests which will be conducted for his reaction times. They have started already and everything is normal.
"We are monitoring until the end of the recovery time. As far as we are concerned, we want him to be in the simulator not to test him but rather to update him on what we have been doing over the last two weeks."
McLaren endured a torrid winter during testing. Besides the trauma of Alonso's puzzling crash, the team were confronted with a series of faults on their new Honda-powered car which only completed 380 laps across 12 days of pre-season action and set the slowest time of any team in attendance at Barcelona.