APRIL 7, 2015
Officials defend Alonso amid latest rumours
Two leading figures in Spanish motor sport have hit back at the latest rumours about Fernando Alonso's Barcelona testing crash.
German publications are openly doubting the honesty of Alonso's claim in Malaysia that he crashed because the steering on his McLaren-Honda "locked".
The highly respected Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt said he had spoken to multiple people with knowledge of the telemetry data collected from the Spaniard's car.
Their unanimous opinion is that Alonso's claim about the steering is "impossible", as the data "clearly shows that everything with the steering was fine".
"Alonso never even tried to steer left, as the torque sensors on the steering wheel would have shown it," Schmidt added.
And the German magazine Auto Bild is running a similar analysis in its latest edition.
Nonetheless, the president of Spain's motor racing federation Carlos Gracia said he is standing behind Alonso.
Gracia, who is close to F1's governing body, confirmed to Spain's El Confidential newspaper that he had "exchanged views" on the topic with the FIA.
"In the end, the one who really knows what happened is Fernando," he said. "Fernando was physically and mentally perfect, and so to have that accident, something must have happened to his car, as he has said."
A well-known former FIA steward Joaquin Verdegay, meanwhile, urged the media to finally move on after an intense period of speculation.
"It is a shame that media professionals and journalists who pay little or no attention to racing as a sport continue with a story that is now in the past," he wrote in El Mundo newspaper.
"They are trying to create news and controversy where there is none."