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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform