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Hamilton cleared to race in the Euro GP
Sunday, 22, July, 2007, 10:05
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Lewis Hamilton has been cleared to take part in the European Grand Prix after a final medical check confirmed that he had suffered no injuries in his violent qualifying accident on Saturday afternoon.

The championship leader had ploughed into the barriers at the flat-out Schumacher S on his first flying lap of Q3, after a loose wheel moved sufficiently to cause a failure of the right front tyre.

Although Lewis remained conscious and immediately tried to get out of the car, he had been shaken by the ferocious frontal impact and stopped to wait for medical assistance.

He was stretchered to an ambulance and then taken first to the circuit medical centre, then a nearby hospital for additional checks.

But it soon emerged that Hamilton had escaped injury in the incident, and by late afternoon he was back in the paddock announcing to the press that he fully intended to compete in the race.

"I'm feeling fine, very fortunate, very lucky that I haven't got any bruises," Hamilton was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"I'm sure tomorrow I'll wake up with some bruises.

"The most important thing is that I'm well and the team is doing a good job to make sure we have a good car tomorrow."

He had passed all the initial medical checks, but the FIA still required him to undergo a final examination by its doctors this morning before confirming that he was fit to start at the Nurburgring.

"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes are pleased to confirm that Lewis Hamilton has been cleared to race in today’s European Grand Prix by the FIA Medical Delegate Dr. Gary Hartstein and the Chief Medical Officer of the event, Dr Klaus U. Zerbian," said a McLaren statement.

"The entire team looks forward to enjoying a competitive race this afternoon for both Fernando (Alonso) and Lewis."

Because the crash happened before Hamilton had attempted a competitive Q3 time, he must start the race from 10th on the grid - by far the lowest starting position of his short but spectacular Formula 1 career.

He must also start with the fuel load that he carried into Q3, which is likely to be relatively small as he anticipated being in the battle for pole position.

When a Q3 gearbox problem left Hamilton's team-mate Alonso 10th on the grid in France, he found it difficult to make progress through the heavier lower top ten traffic, and could only finish seventh in the race.

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