Following his sizable shunt at Circuit de Catalunya a couple of weeks back, Heikki Kovalainen has been given the all-clear to participate in this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix. Kovalainen’s McLaren suffered some kind of wheel failure and his car failed to turn in to T8 correctly. The ensuing ~145mph accident saw Heikki buried quite deep in the tyre barrier, the gravel trap failing to shed much speed off. Although Kovalainen was briefly knocked unconscious, by the the time the medics had freed him from the wreckage he was giving the thumbs to his supporters.
Following a medical examination this morning by the FIA Medical Delegate, Professor Jean-Charles Piette, and the Chief Medical Officer of the event, Dr. Cem Boneval, Heikki Kovalainen was cleared to race in the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix. FIA Statement.
Due to the nature of Kovalainen’s accident, and the fact he suffered a concussion (amazingly, his only real injury), Heikki had to pass a mandatory FIA medical test before being given the okay to race again. This he did earlier this morning at the Istanbul Park circuit, ahead of free practice tomorrow. Kovalainen seems relatively unfazed by the accident, his second large shunt in his Formula One career so far.
Everyone involved in the sport, the FIA in particular, is always working on improving safety for the drivers, but Formula One is a risky business. You know that as a driver, but you don’t think about it. If you worry about things like that, you lose focus; I guess it is just not in my psyche.
I think the accident probably looked worse than it was for me. I had a little headache but was back in training almost immediately. I now look forward to the rest of the weekend and the rest of the season. Heikki Kovalainen.