Boullier ‘understands’ crash suspicions

Date published: March 19 2015

As Fernando Alonso returned to action, albeit in McLaren's simulator, Eric Boullier says he understands all the suspicion but "only up to a point."

The double World Champion failed to take part in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after suffering a concussion during a testing accident at Barcelona.

It was a "strange" crash, according to Sebastian Vettel who was behind Alonso on the track, and one which is still shrouded in mystery.

McLaren have denied Alonso suffered an electric shock, saying it was a gust of wind that caused the crash, while his manager has refuted speculation that the Spaniard was ill before hitting the wall.

Boullier, though, insists McLaren are not trying to cover up anything.

"I personally coordinated the investigation that was put in motion in Woking and everything has been done with complete transparency with the FIA," he told Spain's El Pais. "We have as much interest as them in knowing what happened.

"We are not hiding behind the FIA. We did what we had to do as a team but we didn’t show that publicly. What has prevailed in our behavior is the sense of responsibility we have for our drivers and for the organisation that runs this championship. There are procedures that he needs to follow to be able to race again, those are the rules."

Pressed as to whether he understood 'all the suspicions still surrounding the accident', the Frenchman said: "I understand, but only up to a point.

"The problem is that the whole issue has been taken to an emotional level. Images of ambulances are very striking. Straight away, all the social networks were filled with messages from people asking how Fernando was. But no one knew. A kind of spectacle and need for information was created.

"And I understand it, but there have been those who used it incorrectly.

"You know better than I the role that Alonso plays in Spain, and that saw a situation whereby information was being given out even though it had been made up. Some things are true, others aren’t.

"There are lots of people who tell lies just to gain followers on Twitter or on their blogs. I’m very happy to see you sat here, but most journalists don’t double check their sources, and they end up speculating."

As for the Spaniard's health, the Racing Director says he is ready to return to action but that will depend on the FIA's medical delegate.

"He’s perfect, in fact we are starting to worry about him because if he spends more days at home, he’s going to go crazy. We have to bring him back now, but it’s out of our hands.

"There’s protocol and rules to follow, and next week he will have to pass FIA doctors’ tests, and then straight away he'll have the green light."

Alonso spent time on Wednesday in McLaren's simulator as he prepared for what he hopes will be a comeback in Malaysia.

He tweeted: "Great day today at MTC! Lots of meetings and simulator work!"