Fernando Alonso’s most striking symptom after crashing in Barcelona 11 days ago was a total loss of memory.
The Spanish daily El Pais claims that when the 33-year-old regained consciousness, he thought it was 1995.
"I’m Fernando," he told doctors, "I race karts and I want to be a Formula One driver."
The newspaper said Alonso took a week to recover his memories of the past 20 years, including his Minardi debut in 2001, his two titles with Renault and his switch from Ferrari to McLaren-Honda for 2015.
McLaren, however, claims every medical test and scan has subsequently shown Alonso to be completely injury and symptom free, although doctors have sidelined him for Australia for fear of the potentially fatal ‘second impact syndrome.’
This has raised eyebrows within the medical community.
"Invoking this hypothesis to justify him not racing next weekend makes no sense in this case," said Barcelona neurologist Dr. Rafael Blesa.
"They (McLaren) claim all checks show no injury, meaning that the brain is just as it was before the accident. In that case, the first impact would have no effect in the event of a second," he explained.