• Singapore Grand Prix

It wasn't safe to pit - Kovalainen

ESPNF1 Staff
September 26, 2010 « Heidfeld confident he will stay in F1 next year | »
Heikki Kovalainen tries to put out his blazing Lotus © Sutton Images

While the sight of Heikki Kovalainen grabbing a fire extinguisher and trying to put out a blaze on his Lotus near the end of the Singapore Grand Prix provided one of the more spectacular images of the season, opinion was divided on the wisdom of his actions.

Critics argued Kovalainen was irresponsible to carry on round the track once fuel from a ruptured tank caught light, but he countered by saying he did want to take the car into the pit lane while it was on fire.

"It definitely wasn't safe enough to do so," he explained, "and so I pulled over on the main straight. A couple of guys from Williams gave me an extinguisher, so I put the fire out on my own. Maybe need to pay me more as I'm now a fireman as well ..."

The tank split following a minor collision with Sebastien Buemi. "I spun the car to get back onto the track which I think cracked the fuel tank pressure release valve and it looks like that caused an airbox fire."