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F1 Australian GP: I am alive because of F1 safety advances – Alonso

Fernando Alonso: I thought I had to get out quickly because my mother is watching at home!
Fernando Alonso has praised the FIA for the advances in safety made over the last 15 years after remarkably walking away from a horrifying airborne crash in the Australian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was dicing with Esteban Gutierrez when he clipped the back of the Haas as the Mexican was braking for turn three, Alonso sent into slamming into the alongside wall, before the car was skewed sideways towards the gravel trap.

With the MP4-31 digging in, the car was sent into a terrifying barrel roll before coming to rest against the barrier on the cockpit-side. Despite this, Alonso scrambled out of the destroyed car quickly and walked away, much to the relief of viewers.

Stopping the race to clear the large debris area, Alonso - along with Gutierrez, who was also forced to retire – passed his medical test and has been declared fit.

Indeed, the Spaniard – who missed last year's Australian Grand Prix due to injuries sustained in a relatively low speed accident – has praised the huge advances made in F1, saying he is probably alive because of the FIA's improvements.

“Definitely, it was quite a big one,” he said. “We lost the possibility of points, probably lost the power unit because the car is destroyed, but I am happy here talking to you, I am thankful for the safety of the cars because I am alive due to the job of the last 10 or 15 years in F1

“You don't know exactly where you are because you just see the sky and the ground and then the sky,” he said discussing the crash itself. “I didn't know where I was! I travelled a lot, it was quite scary. Good safety in F1 now and I want to say thanks to the FIA for their work in the last couple of years.”

Alonso went on to joke that the reason he got out of the car do quickly was partly because he knew his mother would be watching worried at home. That said, he admits a potential halo cockpit protection device could have stopped him from doing so.

“Yeah… good point,” he continued. “I didn't think of that. We need to think of scenarios and the consequences. I went out of the car quick and easy and we need to see if there is a difference

“The last point the car stopped and I thought I had to get out quickly because my mother is watching at home!”





by Ollie Barstow



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso - McLaren
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Race, Gerard Berger (AUT), Michael
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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tommytrojan1

March 20, 2016 10:09 AM

Such a frightening accident, and a good reminder (as if one were needed) at just how quickly these cars are travelling - and this was on a street circuit! MUCH more worrying however, is trying to imagine how a halo device would have affected this crash. Had there been a fire, or if Alonso was knocked unconscious, how would he have been able to get out (or be extracted from) the car quickly enough? I'm not dismissing the idea of additional protection, but the FIA have to REALLY think hard about implementing something like a halo structure too hastily. This accident just proves that much more though needs to go into a solution - if indeed a 'solution' is necessary in the first place.

Maroc

March 20, 2016 11:54 AM

Great to see Alonso jump out and dust himself off, the wheel tethers did an amazing job in keeping the wheels attached to the car, a crucial safety aspect, if any of the wheels had managed to break away from the car the consequences doesn't bare thinking about with marshals and fans in close proximity not to mention Alonso himself being the firing line.



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