Video: Kovalainen turns firefighter in Singapore GP blaze

Nic Cackett

Every F1 driver fantasises about finishing races in a blaze of glory, but Heikki Kovalainen put a bizarre new twist on that dream when he was forced to leap from his Lotus towards the end of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix and personally fight a serious engine fire.

The Finnish star told the BBC that he decided against returning to the pits for fear of endangering the lives of the pit crews if the car exploded. Instead he ended up stopping alongside the Williams team on the start/finish straight, who managed to pass him a fire extinguisher.

With no marshal in sight, Kovalainen quickly doused the flames in full view of a cheering grandstand. The race was another one to forget for Lotus, but at least their driver enters the long list of racing stars who put themselves in harm's way with someone else's safety in mind.

Click below to see some amateur footage of the action.