Heikki Kovalainen: This is what happens after heart surgery / System 1

Heikki Kovalainen: This is what happens after heart surgery / System 1

At the beginning of March 2024, we received terrible news from GP winner Heikki Kovalainen: The Finn confirmed that he will have to undergo heart surgery. This is how the 42-year-old feels today.

At the beginning of March 2024, Heikki Kovalainen – winner of the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix – had to ask himself a worrying question: Can I run races and rallies again?

A medical examination revealed that he was suffering from a sac-shaped enlargement of the walls of the main artery (aorta), known as an aortic aneurysm.

The expansion can occur if there are weak points in the walls of the vessel and it reacts to the high pressure in the aorta by stretching. There is a risk of rupture of the aorta.

The long-time GP driver reported to his fans: “I am no longer allowed to compete in competitions at this time. I have no symptoms and feel fine, but we are planning an open heart surgery.”

This operation has now been performed and the 111-time GP member now reports with these words: “I had the operation at Tampere University Hospital, in the hands of an amazing team of cardiologists. The open heart surgery went well.”

“The doctors were able to carry out what they had planned. They removed the enlarged part of the aorta and inserted an artificial piece. Everything went well. The process was important and I’m still a little confused, but I can see that I’m making fast progress.”

“Since now I have been allowed to go home to continue my recovery. The probability of success after the procedure is good. Only time will tell if this works, but from today’s perspective I should be back to my previous level of fitness. I’m very relieved about that.”

“Now the chest bone must heal first. If that happens, then it will be possible for me to return to my normal life.”

That’s Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen is one of the Formula 1 drivers who could not make the most of their talent in the premier class: The Finn competed in a total of 111 Grands Prix from Australia 2007 to Brazil 2013 and is one of the 35 drivers who competed. in the World Cup Formula 1 -1, one win each is tied.

Kovalainen has rarely been able to show his talent as a driver for Renault (2007), McLaren (2008 and 2009), Lotus and Caterham (2010 to 2012) and Lotus (2013). Victory (at Hungaroring 2008), pole position (at Silverstone 2008), four front row starts (both in 2008 and 2009 for McLaren-Mercedes), two fastest laps (at Melbourne and Bahrain 2008), plus and 7. a place in the World Championship in 2007 (with Renault) and 2008 (with McLaren) – that’s the result of a fast talker from Suomussalmi.

At the end of 2013 in the USA and Brazil, Kovalainen could not take advantage of Kimi Räikkönen’s place at Lotus: Heikki fell short of expectations and did not receive a contract again in Formula 1 for 2014.

He continued his career in Japan and became the SuperGT champion before moving on to mainstream competition.