Lotus man Heikki Kovalainen has blamed Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber for their potentially very dangerous crash today in the European Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain.
Kovalainen and Webber came together on lap 10 following a misunderstanding while battling for position. Both escaped unhurt from the incident, which saw Webber's Red Bull launched into the air as it cart wheeled over the Lotus.
“First of all it's good news that both of us are okay,” Kovalainen reflected. “Mark had a hardcore flight, and it could have ended up much worse, so it's good we're both fine.
“It's such a shame the race ended that early though – I was going really well, pulling away from the guys behind by about half a second a lap, and with Mark we were racing for position so I was always going to defend.
“I didn't do anything wrong and he just ran into me. I think he missed his braking point and he ran into me at a very bad angle - his front tyre hit my right rear and he took off. I had to make a mandatory visit to the medical centre, and shook hands with Mark there, but I'm absolutely fine, and glad Mark is too.”
While some F1 folk questioned whether Kovalainen should have tried to fight with Webber, Lotus chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne was adamant the Finn had done nothing wrong and that he was right to try and defend his position.
“Heikki had an accident with Webber - he was defending his line and racing for position, and that's what we will always do in that situation,” Gascoyne stated. “It's just a great shame, and we're very glad that neither driver was hurt.”
Webber meanwhile, was relieved to walk away unharmed [see separate story - click here
], although unsurprisingly he felt the accident was Kovalainen's fault, as he braked too early.
“I was going a lot faster than Heikki and then a long, long way before the braking point he braked - about 80m before - and at that point I was a passenger,” Webber said.