Lewis Hamilton sends message to former team-mate following open heart surgery update

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen as McLaren team-mates

Heikki Kovalainen has undergone heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm

Lewis Hamilton has wished his former McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen a speedy recovery after the Finn underwent open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

Kovalainen, who raced in Formula 1 full-time from 2007 to 2012, revealed last month that he had been diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm that would require surgery.

Heikki Kovalainen recovering after open heart surgery

The Finn, now 42, had the operation last week and has now taken to social media to issue an update on his health.

“I was diagnosed with ascending aortic aneurysm at the end of last year, basically a piece of the ascending aortic was dilating quite a lot,” he announced on X.

“So that’s the reason why I haven’t been able to join any rallies or any other activities even over the winter.

“In the last few months, I’ve been going through with a team of doctors my options, what we’re gonna do about it, what can be done.

“We decided to go ahead with the operation and I had it already last week. It’s a wonderful, wonderful team of doctors and nurses who took care of me there.

“It was an open heart surgery so I have marks forever now on my chest. The surgery went well, we managed to get done exactly what we were planning to do.

“So we got the diseased part of the ascending aorta out and put an artificial graft in place. Everything went well, it was obviously a big operation.

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“I was a couple of days after the operation feeling a bit rough, but things have improved a lot since then. I’m actually back at home now already recovering.

“The outlook is quite good. There is an opportunity to make a full recovery and regain full fitness but of course, time will tell eventually how it all works out. But so far the estimation is quite good so I’m very pleased with that.

“In the meantime, just continue recovering and try to hopefully get out, little by little increase activities, the main thing is obviously for the chest bone to give it some time to heal. And then once that is all done, if things go well hopefully get back to normal routines.

“And in the meantime, yeah, take care and enjoy whatever you’re doing and hopefully see you out soon.”

Hamilton, who raced with Kovalainen at McLaren during the 2008 and 2009 F1 seasons, wished his former team-mate a speedy recovery.

“Get well soon Heikki, praying for you,” wrote Lewis Hamilton.

Pedro de la Rosa also sent his wishes, saying: Wishing you a speedy recovery Heikki! Glad it all went well.”

1996 World Champion Damon Hill wrote: “All the best Heikki.”

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