Heikki Kovalainen has spoken for the first time since his horrific crash in Barcelona yesterday, the Finn reporting a slight headache and a stiff neck but otherwise feeling fit and well.
The 26-year-old has been cleared of any head injuries or broken bones following an overnight stay at the Hospital General de Catalunya in Sant Cugat del Valles in Spain.
“I have a slight headache and a stiff neck, but apart from that I am feeling well and in good spirits," said the McLaren driver. "My focus is on getting better as soon as possible so I can pass the FIA medical inspection required to allow me to race in Turkey.â€
The team has established that Kovalainen speed was approximately 240km/h when the tyre deflated and about 130km/h when he hit the tyre barrier. He experienced a 27g deceleration.
The McLaren ace does not remember anything about his accident other than the aftermath and was quick to praise the medical team for their swift response.
“I don’t remember anything from the accident or what happened afterwards but would obviously like to thank all the circuit emergency staff, the FIA medical team at the track and the doctors at the hospital for all their efforts in looking after me. Also thank you for all the messages I have received they all mean a lot.â€
The cause of the accident is not yet known but the early signs are that a broken wheel rim triggered a left front tyre failure.
“The team told me that the left front wheel rim might have broken which could have lead to the sudden deflation of the tyre. However we have to wait for further inspections to be able to confirm the exact cause. What is especially important is the fact that the monocoque withstood the heavy impact, so credit should also be given to everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for that.â€