I don’t want to read too much into comments from Fernando Alonso but his most recent words on this weekend’s season-opening race in Australia and the likelihood of returning for Malaysia have me somewhat worried:
“Of course, I’m very disappointed not to be joining Jenson [Button] in Melbourne in the McLaren-Honda garage, but I understand the recommendations of the doctors and I’m already back in training and preparing for my first race in the MP4-30,” said Alonso.
“I would like to thank everybody for their kind wishes and support and I’ll be giving everything to be back in the cockpit for Malaysia.
“I wish Kevin all the best for this weekend in Australia, and I know the car is in his safe hands.”
If we juxtapose these words with the original presser from McLaren:
“Fernando’s doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race, and, that being the case, they are comfortable with the fact that he has already recommenced physical training, with a view to preparing for a return to the cockpit of his McLaren-Honda car for the Malaysian Grand Prix meeting on March 27th, 28th and 29th. Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22nd.”
Parsing words, which isn’t always advisable, it seems that Alonso isn’t quite as sure that he will be ready for Malaysia. The presser suggested everything was fine and doctors were only taking precautionary measures with an aim on a Malaysia return but Alonso’s words seem a little more cautious and this, once again, leaves room for support of speculation that he may not be returning to the car very soon. Some fans have suggested he’ll be out for several races but that’s just a hunch.
I’m no doctor and really have no business weighing in on the matter but what I can say is that taking the situation at face value, it’s great that Alonso is taking time to really recover from what, by any measure, is a concussion. The sport is taking it seriously and certainly so should we. Whether Alonso feels that he can be back for Malaysia or not isn’t really the question, his health is.
I know the conspiracies are running wild but regardless, I think Alonso does need to take the time he needs to allow for recovery so there are no vestiges of a concussed brain present prior to him stepping back into a car.
The one thing that might help matters is if he truly hit the wall and is concussed, then McLaren could stop all the other speculation by presenting details that rule out electric shock or other rumored causes. Then there is Flavio Briatore’s concern over a steering problem to contend with.
McLaren’s tight lips leave room for wild accusations but it also suggests that there is information they’d rather not share for whatever reason and that adds to the speculation.
In the end, I hope Alonso is back for Malaysia but if he’s not, I hope we’ll have more information about the incident so we can understand better and eliminate the wild speculation that seems to be feeding the story and not in a healthy way.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT