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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2007, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Hamilton unhurt following crash
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was taken by stretcher to the Nurburgring's medical centre
Lewis Hamilton remains hopeful he will race in Sunday's European Grand Prix after leaving the Nurburgring on a stretcher following a high-speed crash.

The Briton, 22, went into the tyre wall at the 'Schumacher S' bend and struggled to get out of his McLaren before medical assistance arrived.

"I'm absolutely fine and I really hope I can race," said Hamilton, who has been provisionally cleared to race.

He will undergo a final check-up by FIA doctor Gary Hartstein on Sunday.

Hamilton was kept at the circuit's medical centre and was then taken to a military hospital near Koblenz.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said: "There is no medical reason why he can't race.

"He has no bruising, he has no damage anywhere, he is not sore anywhere. All the scans are fine.

"The procedure is he will have a night's sleep and he will have a final, mandatory check in the morning."

606: DEBATE

Hamilton ploughed into the tyres at an estimated 150mph and slumped to the gravel when he tried to get out of the car.

"It was pretty distressing up until the point I knew he was actually fine," said Dennis, who was not able to make radio contact with Hamilton.

The team boss explained that the crash had occurred because the right-front wheel was not attached properly after a wheel gun failure.

"Effectively the wheel wasn't properly put on, but that's not the mechanic's fault," said Dennis.

"We are not quite sure what failed but in fact it was quite fortunate because the same gun was used on Fernando (Alonso)'s car and he hadn't started to lean on it yet.

"We could tell from that it was a gun failure. At least we know we don't have a problem with the car."

The qualifying session was red-flagged while Hamilton was attended to, and he was taken away on a stretcher, but was well enough to give a thumbs-up signal.

Officials confirmed that Hamilton had been conscious and speaking when he was taken by ambulance to the medical centre.

When qualifying restarted, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took pole. Hamilton was in fifth before the crash but will start from 10th place on the grid if he is passed fit to race.

Follow live coverage of the race which starts at 1300 BST this Sunday on the BBC Sport website and Radio Five Live.

SEE ALSO
Euro GP qualifying as it happened
21 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen roars to Germany pole
21 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Top two dominate Euro GP practice
20 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Walker nervous about F1 return
20 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Nurburgring to honour Schumacher
25 Mar 07 |  Formula One


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