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  Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
McNish ruled out of race
Allan McNish lost control at 180mph at the daunting 130R corner
McNish's car is lifted away as marshals repair the barrier
Scotland's Allan McNish was ruled out of Formula One's season-ending Japanese Grand Prix by doctors on Sunday, following a high-speed crash in qualifying.

The Toyota driver failed a medical examination by professor Sid Watkins, the chief medical officer for motorsport's governing body, the FIA, who said he could not take part.

The decision, based on a knee injury sustained in the crash, may mean the 32-year-old has raced a Grand Prix car for the last time - he has yet to secure a drive for 2003.

A frustrated McNish, who took part in the morning practice session, explained why the doctors had banned him from driving.

"I think they're concerned that if there is any aggravation over the two hours of the race it could lead to complications," he said.

"I felt pretty good this morning - I think we were 12th quickest.

"I'm really disappointed. I don't want to end my F1 career on this note."

McNish walked away virtually uninjured after losing control at the Suzuka track's daunting 130R corner, which is taken flat out by Formula One cars.

McNish suffered only a cut knee and a sore neck as his Toyota smashed through the barriers after running wide at the exit of the corner and spinning across the track.

The car came to rest the right way up with its entire rear portion destroyed but McNish was able to walk away from the car to sit down on a bank and get his breath back.

McNish said after the crash: "Usually when you have a huge accident you can't remember anything but unfortunately I remember everything.

"I came through the corner and everything was fine until the last moment at the exit. The car swapped ends and after that I was just a passenger."

Watkins said on Saturday: "His condition is pretty good really.

"We will see him in the morning to see whether he is fit to drive. If he is he will have a go in the warm-up.


It is a difficult corner, so it is very easy to have a big accident there
Mika Salo
McNish's team-mate

"He was lucky he went in rearwards and the barrier took a lot of the energy. It performed well.

"It is a tribute to the cars and their designers that they are much safer now."

Qualifying was stopped for more than an hour while the barriers were repaired after the crash.

The accident was caused when the rear of McNish's car began to slide as he came out of the corner on a qualifying lap.

He over-corrected the slide and the car spun back the other way before spearing off the track.

McNish's team-mate Mika Salo said: "It is very difficult to say what happened, but it is a corner where there have been a lot of accidents.

"I've had a big accident there. It's a difficult corner. It's just about flat out, so it's very easy to drop a wheel off and get into a slide.

Allan McNish
McNish is knocked about but has no serious injuries
"Allan seemed fine, so I have no worries about him, or about me going out again."

Max Mosley - president of the sport's governing body, the FIA - said: "It was a very worrying accident.

"We have them now and again and when we have a big one like that we need to be lucky. Happily Allan could walk away."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
"McNish went backwards through the crash barrier"
In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

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F1 2002
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