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Kobayashi cleared by stewards after crash with Massa

Mar 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Kamui Kobayashi AP

Kamui Kobayashi has been cleared of any wrong-doing by the stewards following a large accident at the beginning of today’s Australian Grand Prix.

The Japanese driver, who was making his F1 comeback after a year out of the sport, started from an excellent 14th on the grid for Caterham. However, his race lasted a matter of seconds after crashing into the Williams of Felipe Massa at the first corner and ending both of their races.

Massa was furious about the incident, comparing it to Romain Grosjean’s accident at the beginning of the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix that saw the Frenchman receive a one race ban. Massa suggested to British TV that Kobayashi should receive a similar penalty, and the stewards confirmed that they would be investigating the incident after the race.

However, it transpired that Kobayashi had suffered a brake failure, meaning that he could not stop the car in time to avoid Massa. The stewards accepted this explanation from the team, and cleared him of any wrong-doing in the incident.

“That isn’t how I wanted my first race back to go, and I’m sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early,” Kobayashi said after the race. “I had a really good start but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe.

“From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn’t do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem.

“After the race I went to the Stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We’ll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it.”

Kobayashi will be hoping to bounce back from this setback at the Malaysian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

  1. chad4208 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    It looked like he lost brakes. That was the first thing that came to my mind…no brakes

  2. worknman24hours - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Kamui and Felipe ,by default, become only the first, I am sure, victims of the regen braking failure phenomenon.

    They’ll get Kamui’s car sorted and he’ll do much better.

    Felipe’s car looks great for the rest of the season as Botta’s has shown.

  3. testover6370 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    It almost looked like he accelerated, which makes sense if everyone else braked and he couldn’t. It certainly looked like a catastrophic failure rather than over-exuberance. I feel horrible for both Kamui and Felipe. Both could have had a great race.

    • worknman24hours - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:32 AM

      Yea, test, I saw that too.

      You have to commit to the technology to work to it’s fullest and if that regen clutch fails to engage ,the car just takes off straight ahead, like it did.

      I think the regen clutch starts the braking process in the car and the feedback from that tells the car’s brake proportioning valve to start engaging the front brakes just a millisecond later.

      No feed back and the brakes simply don’t engage at all.

      Glad both drivers are o.k.

      Monaco this year will be really interesting.

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