Martin Whitmarsh: “Kovalainen’s crash, not a structural failure” 

Written by David on April 28th, 2008 at 2:43 pmLast Update: April 28th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Martin WhitmarshAccording to McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh, Heikki Kovalainen’s crash on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix was probably caused by a stone that got inside the front left wheel. Whitmarsh has also made clear that this is a result from initial examination rather than a definitive answer to what has caused Kovalainen’s left tyre instant deflation.

“It was a wheel failure, but there was some debris maybe inside the rim and we’ve got to analyse that,” he said. “It was a new wheel and we don’t think it was a structural failure; maybe it got a stone inside, but it’s not obvious at the moment and we’ve got to do some analysis. There were some score marks, which are typical of that sort of thing, but were they caused by going across the gravel trap? We’ve got to answer that later.”

“Heikki was lucky because it was a big accident – but miraculous is too big a word. When you look at the state of the chassis now, it’s a frightening thing to look at but, in truth, the barrier did a lot really. It was a fairly substantial impact; and it was higher G-force than you get in the ejector seat of a military aircraft, not something you would want or could endure for very long.”

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