Heikki Kovalainen, eccentric mumbler Kimi Räikkönen's last-minute Lotus replacement, was running in the points at last week's Formula One United States Grand Prix before he dropped off the face of the Earth, never to be heard from the podium again. It turns out that his race was possibly ruined by the most surreptitious American product of all: garbage.
Kovalainen was having a reasonably strong race for someone who hadn't been in the game awhile, keeping his Lotus on pace for a top-eight finish. Then out of nowhere he seemed to be having control issues with his front wing, and was forced to come in for a third pit stop.
His pit crew found no issues with the wing, and sent him back out because what else are you gonna do?
It turns out that the engineers did notice, however, that temperatures in one of the front brake calipers mysteriously shot up around the same time. Something must've gotten caught in the brake mechanism. Surely the culprit was to be found there. This was in Texas, so it could've been any one of a number of items. Rattlesnake? Cowboy hat? Rick Perry?
None of the above, according to Autosport:
When asked if he knew what the debris was, Kovalainen said: "I believe it was a paper bag."
The Lotus team never found the offending burger wrapper, so we'll never know for sure if it was from Wendy's or McDonalds or Wild Bubbas. Maybe it was a ghost?
We do know, though, that a fake Native American is crying somewhere.