A dramatic photo of Fernando Alonso was distributed via social networking site Twitter on Sunday night, showing the Formula 1 star strapped to a hospital gurney and in a neck brace. The Ferrari driver, it transpired, had been taken to hospital for medical checks after being subjected to huge g-forces when his car slammed into the circuit during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Alonso finished the race in fifth place, with the incident in question coming when there were 11 laps left to run. The Ferrari driver came flying out of the pits, but when he rejoined the track he came dangerously close to the Toro Rosso of Jean-Éric Vergne.
The French driver ran Alonso wide, forcing the Ferrari into the run-off area. When the Spaniard rejoined the tarmac, he passed over a curb, sending the nose of the car up into the air and bringing it down with considerable force.
An automatic g-loading sensor in the Ferrari was activated by the incident, meaning Alonso had suffered g-forces of over 25g and thus required a mandatory medical check-up.
The double world champion escaped any sanction from the race stewards over the incident, as did Vergne, who claimed he had not seen Alonso emerging from the pits.
Alonso joked with reporters on Sunday, saying: “I still have all my teeth,” adding that he expected to be fit to race in Austin in two weeks’ time. Although he was given the all-clear by doctors on Sunday, he told his Twitter followers that he would be undergoing more tests on Monday afternoon.