The two-time world champion skidded off Catalunya track near Barcelona at Turn 3, hitting the inside wall, during the fourth day of the second official pre-season test session of the season. He was reportedly conscious and talking after the incident, but after being examined at the trackside medical center, was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital for further testing.
The incident caps a difficult pre-season so far for the McLaren team, which has grappled with mechanical glitches related to the new Honda engine it will be running this year. The British team was stuck at or near the bottom of the time sheets on each of the four days of the first test session in Jerez, and has been relegated towards the bottom of the board throughout the first three days of this second session in Barcelona.
This of course wasn't the first time Alonso has endured a severe crash over the course of his decade and a half on the grid. One of his most notorious incidents included a crash at 180 miles per hour during the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. His crash while practicing for the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix prevented him from taking part in the qualifying session, relegating him to the back of the starting grid, but didn't keep him from finishing a solid sixth in the race at which it's notoriously difficult to pass. But arguably the most famous crash surrounding the Spaniard didn't even directly involve him: it was the infamous Crashgate scandal of 2008, when his team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr was instructed to crash his car in order to help Alonso win the race.
Needless to say, Alonso has bounced back from them all, just as we hope and trust he will from this one. We'll be sure to keep you posted on his progress, so watch this space.