Lotus Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov has admitted that he thought his leg had been broken in the accident that brought out the red flag and ended a three-way battle for victory in the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago.
The Russian became the second F1 driver transported to the Principality's Princess Grace Hospital over the grand prix weekend but, like Sauber rookie Sergio Perez, escaped serious injury. However, at the time of his impact with the retaining wall at the Swimming Pool, Petrov revealed that he was worried about the state of his legs, and was struggling to extricate himself from the cockpit of his black-and-gold machine.
"The problem, first of all, was my legs were stuck inside the cockpit and, at the same time, when I tried to move them, I didn't feel them," he explained, "This is why I decided it is better to wait for someone to help me, as I tried to feel my fingers on the leg and I couldn't feel them. I just waited for the people who can help me to do something. I thought it was broken to be honest, but I was lucky it was not.
Petrov, now in his second season as an F1 driver, revealed that the hospital had prepared the bed next to Perez - a former GP2 team-mate at Barwa Addax - for him, but was relieved to receive a clean bill of health from the medical team.
"I am fine," he confirmed on the eve of the Canadian Grand Prix, where he will resume his partnership with veteran Nick Heidfeld, "It looks now that everything is good. I think we're bringing some good parts here, and we hope it will work. I hope it will be much, much better than last year."
The Russian finished two laps down in 17th place in last year's Canadian GP after a jump start, several incidents and two drive-thru' penalties, while erstwhile team-mate Robert Kubica was 'only' seventh having previously starred in both Melbourne and Monaco.