Formula 1

Fernando Alonso leaves hospital after F1 testing crash

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Fernando Alonso has left hospital three days after his crash during pre-season testing in Barcelona.

The Spaniard was airlifted to the Catalunya General Hospital after hitting the wall at around 100mph in the McLaren-Honda suffering a concussion as a result.

In a statement reporting the findings of an investigation into the incident, McLaren said a strong wind gust caused Alonso to run wide onto the Astroturf around the long right-hander at turn three and subsequently lose control and slide into the inside wall with an impact said to be measured at 30G which was followed by a secondary impact at around half the G-force before coming to a halt.

Wind the main crash factor say McLaren

Given the fitness of Alonso, among the highest despite being one of the older drivers on the grid, some remain skeptical as to whether to believe McLaren's version of events, with previous theories suggesting the two-time world champion could have fainted at the wheel or was even electrocuted following a failure of some kind in the Energy Recovery System but they have since been dismissed.

The incident came as McLaren continue to struggle to get the new Honda power unit running reliably and consistently having only completed just over 100 laps over the four days in Barcelona, a tally most teams were easily achieving in just a single day.

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A difficult pre-season

Despite Alonso now leaving hospital the team has confirmed he will not participate in the final test which gets underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Thursday and has instead returned home to Oviedo to continue his recovery, 2014 driver and now McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen will take his place.

While it has yet to confirmed which days the Dane will be behind the wheel, the final test will be crucial for McLaren and Honda as they look to make up for lost time. Racing director Eric Boullier has admitted the team has only completed around 50% of their intended pre-season programme.

"I have had time to look at the screens but I haven't got a clue what is going on"

Indeed the Frenchman has said the focus is now on which parts pose the biggest risk of failing at the first Grand Prix with the potential for unreliability at the season opener still high despite the progress made last year.

Button expects mixed grid in Melbourne

Also looking ahead to the first race in Australia on March 15, Jenson Button has claimed he expects something of a mixed up grid in Melbourne despite the Mercedes still looking the clear favourites at the front.

"I have had time to look at the screens but I haven't got a clue what is going on," he told

"In terms of who is quick and who isn't, it is really difficult to read. I think Mercedes will be quickest, looking at the long runs but Ferrari seems pretty strong, Williams is difficult to read, and Sauber looks good, so good for them - Red Bull too."

What has surprised the 2009 champion so far is the wild variations in pace between the Pirelli tyres and the amount of extra performance individual teams are extracting from the softer compounds.  

"It is tricky, you put the soft tyre on and some gain 1.5secs, others gain four tenths, so it is a bit random. I think it makes it great for the first race and exciting. You could read last year that Mercedes and Williams were quickest, but this year I haven't got a clue so it could be a mixed up field for the first race."

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