Kovalainen crash has eerily familiar echo

The accident which befell McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen occurred on the 22nd lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, when he was running in the lead during the first round of pit stops after winner Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica had all just refuelled.

It may have been caused by a wheel failure similar to that suffered during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring last year by Lewis Hamilton, when a front wheel broke.

It occurred as he entered Turn Nine, which is normally taken at 180mph in the sixth of seven gears.

The left front tyre deflated suddenly, and though the car lost some speed as it headed straight across the gravel bed, it still buried itself heavily into the protective tyre barrier exactly as Hamilton's car had last July.

For a while it looked like a very unpleasant replay of Hamilton's incident, and it took a while to extract and stabilise the Finn at the accident scene, but he gave a thumbs up as he was taken by stretcher to the medical centre. Later he was flown to hospital for precautionary checks, where his condition was described as stable. "I'm glad that Heikki is OK," Hamilton said with evident relief. "I came past and saw a car in the wall, but it just looked red so I wasn't sure if it was one of us or a Ferrari.

"Then I caught a glimpse of the accident on the TV footage [on one of the giant screens around the circuit] and it was very, very reminiscent of my incident last year at the Ring, so I was terrified for whoever it was.

"Then the team told me it was Heikki. Ron [Dennis] came on the radio halfway through and said he was OK but lightly concussed, so I'm sure he'll bounce back."

Hamilton said that he wasn't at all worried about something similar happening to his own car. "If you let those things get into your mind you're in trouble, you just put yourself in the wrong position.

"It never crossed my mind once. The team have done a great job and the car was very reliable, and that enabled me to push hard to finish."

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen also had his moments of concern for his fellow countryman.

"I didn't know which McLaren it was until my pit said it was Heikki," the world champion said. "Fortunately it looked worse than it was in the end. I'm happy that Heikki is OK."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Robin van Persie leaves the field at the King Power Stadium last Sunday
football
News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

Arts and Entertainment
tvPresenter back after daughter's Halloween accident
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

Arts and Entertainment
music Band accidentally drops four-letter description at concert
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines