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Heikki Kovalainen heart surgery

Heikki Kovalainen Faces Critical Heart Surgery

06/03/2024

Former F1 star Heikki Kovalainen to undergo crucial open-heart operation, pausing his rally career.

Grim news emerges from Finland, where former McLaren and Renault F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen is set to undergo life-saving open-heart surgery soon.

The 42-year-old ex-F1 driver, who has since switched to rallying, has put his career on hold due to the discovery of an aortic enlargement.

“I decided to have a thorough physical examination at the end of last season. And they found the issue,” Kovalainen confirmed, acknowledging that he is currently “prohibited from doing any intense physical training.”

“It’s a hereditary condition I can’t do anything about,” added the Finn. “It’s good that it was discovered now.”

Kovalainen says he will have to undergo open-heart surgery, during which his heart will be briefly stopped.

“It’s such a major surgery that the risk of the worst always exists. However, the aorta has dilated so much that the surgical threshold has been exceeded, leaving no other choice.”

He expresses “sadness” that his driving career is currently on pause, especially since he had planned to defend his title in Japan with the new Yaris WRC2.

But his health is most important.

“The odds are in my favor. However, if it turns out I can’t continue racing despite the surgery, so be it. My primary goal is to return to a normal life.”

Heikki Kovalainen heart surgery. Heikki Kovalainen heart surgery

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