Kovalainen given clean bill of health to race in Turkey

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The Independent Online

Heikki Kovalainen is determined to give his mother a day to remember after sending her "a bit crazy" 11 days ago.

Sisko Kovalainen was understandably distressed after witnessing her son's 150mph smash in the Spanish Grand Prix. Fortunately she did not witness the accident live as she was working that day, later seeing replays after learning that her son had sustained nothing more than mild concussion.

Kovalainen still has no recall of the crash, sparked by a left-front failure of the wheel rim that led to a deflation of the tyre and the 26-year-old hurtling off track into a tyre barrier.

Kovalainen, cleared yesterday to race in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix after passing a FIA medical examination, said: "My dad called her and told her I had had an accident and she was like 'OK'. But then she got home and actually saw what happened and she went a bit crazy – she's just about recovered now!"

With only 20 cars now racing this weekend, five rather than six cars will be excluded after each of the first two parts of Saturday qualifying. That will leave 10 cars fighting for pole in the final 10-minute phase.

Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, doubts whether anyone will step in to buy Super Aguri. The small Japanese team folded on Tuesday, with debts of £50m owed to parent company Honda.

Formula One supremo Ecclestone cannot see another investor willing to spend a fortune in resurrecting a now-defunct team. "I didn't want to put in $100m [£51m], which is what was needed," he said. "If somebody could properly fund it then it would be good, but there are a lot of people walking around with a begging bowl."