Kovalainen Parked Flaming Lotus on Track for Safety Reasons

Heikki Kovalainen told the media on Sunday that he preferred not to park his flaming Lotus T127 in the pit lane in the closing stages of the Singapore Grand Prix and rather coast it down the start/finish straight for safety reasons.

The Finn's car turned into flames seconds after it suffered a fuel-system damage following the collision with Sebastien Buemi's STR5. As the incident happened some hundreds of meters before the pit lane entry, everybody was expecting Kovalainen to turn left and head towards the Lotus garage.

However, after an initial impulse to go down the pit lane, Kova instantly turned right and headed down the start/finish line, parking his car near the pit wall. He then asked the guys at Williams-Cosworth to hand him a fire extinguisher and stopped the fire himself.

I thought about it (going in the pit lane), but then I thought it was too big a fire and it was not safe enough to go in the middle of the people, and at the end of the race there might be people celebrating there. So I thought it was better to stop on the main straight. I didn't realise it was that big a fire until I was in the pit-lane entry, so I had to think about it,” said Kovalainen in an interview with Autosport after the race.

Then I thought about crossing to the right hand side of the track but I thought it was too high speed a corner to cross the track with such flames. So then I just tried to crawl it around the corner. That is what I was looking for – finding marshals. The engine was dead. It was game over by then,” added the Finn.
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