Fernando Alonso admitted he was “lucky to be alive” after walking away from his wrecked McLaren Honda car following a high-speed crash during Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
The two-time world champion had survived a huge collision at more than 300 kph at Turn Three of the Albert Park Circuit, his car hitting Mexican Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas Ferrari and then flying, flipping and rolling through a gravel trap.
"I feel lucky to be here,” he said after a medical examination had passed him fit and unhurt. “It’s lucky we are both okay and I am talking to you guys -- I'm thankful for the safety of the car and so lucky I am alive talking to you.
"Right now, I feel good. It was a combination of factors and it ended up in a crash, but we are lucky that we are both ok.
“I am so thankful now for the safety of these cars and that is why I am alive – that and the safety wall. I think it was a racing thing and there is nobody to blame -- sometimes we forget we are going 300 kph."
"It was a big crash," he added. "I tried to take the slipstream of Gutierrez until the braking point and, in the last moment, it was a combination of factors that meant we ended up with a crash.”
The collision came at Turn Three after 18 laps and resulted in a red flag that suspended the race for 20 minutes.
“This one was disappointing for me because we start the championship with zero points and we have damaged the power unit so we probably have to take a second one immediately," he added.