Kobayashi: Sorry to Felipe but that was not my mistake

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014

Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi wasted no time in making an impression on his return to Formula 1, ploughing his Caterham into the back of Felipe Massa’s Williams as they entered the first corner of the Australian Grand Prix.

The mishap took both cars out of the race instantly, leaving Brazilian Massa fuming on his aborted debut for his new team and Kobayashi red-faced in his first race back after a year on the sidelines.

The former Sauber driver, popular with crowds for his daring and willingness to overtake, joined Caterham after agreeing to race without a salary and pay $1 million raised from fans through online donations.

Massa, who joined from Ferrari at the end of last year, seethed at the Japanese before Caterham absolved their driver by recognising that  the car had suffered a brake problem.

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014.

“It’s difficult to find a word to say what’s happened. starting the first race of the season…you cannot do anything,” said the Brazilian.

“It’s even dangerous. I think what he did in this race is not so different than what [Romain] Grosjean did in Spa and he took a race ban,” added the 32-year-old, referring to the French Lotus driver who caused carnage at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix with an aggressive start.

“So it’s dangerous and you cannot do that. I’m sorry, but you cannot do that.”

Williams Technical Chief Pat Symonds denounced the collision as “sheer madness” on the part of Kobayashi.

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014.

An investigation later cleared the 27-year-old, who tweeted: “Find out system fail was no rear brake so this was problem of accident. Sorry to Felipe but was not my mistake.”

He added in his post race review, “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.”

“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 that this was the case. We’ll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it,” concluded Kobayashi. (Reuters_GP247)

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  • Funny

    Massa is an average driver, he needs to act like one.. Comparing kobayashi to “early days grosjean” and wanted fia to take action against him Without even knowing that kobayashi had brake problem. Very immature for someone with a huge experience like him, you’re lucky Williams took you in, you need to look at Hamilton and see how calm he is when he has problems/fail

  • Spartacus

    Really?

    Ham is a better role model than Massa?

    Really?

    LOL!!!

  • Ankit

    Sure, Hamilton was very calm during Valencia 2012:)

  • karlich

    Yep… LOL! I am sure Massa was just upset and said those things in the heat of the moment and to his best knowledge of the incident’s proceedings. I am also sure both drivers will talk to each other, apologize and shake hands.

  • Francesca

    You didn’t watch many F1 races with Hamilton, did you?
    Kobayashi is a kamikaze and Massa knew it can fight easily for points this year (look at Bottas’ performance, even with a puncture!).
    We’ll see if Kobayashi will do a great start in 2 weeks but a lot of drivers don’t like those guys who drive like in a video game (Maldonado, Grosjean, Kobayshi).

  • karlich

    What’s far more interesting insight from this incident is that the lower noses are not doing their job. Kobayashi lifted Massa at low speed. Wonder if Massa would have flipped in a higher velocity crash. Either way, the way Massa’s car launched in to the air suggests FIA introduced yet another pointless rules change.

  • haloguy628

    A fool has been revealed.

  • Lord Humongous

    Hamilton? Calm under duress? I don’t think so.

  • jimjimmy123

    We had much lower noses from 1971 through till 1995. That is 26 consecutive years of ultra low noses.

    I don’t remember a single catastrophic incident due to one car wedging under another in those 26 years.

    And those cars ran millimeters off the ground, not centimeters like today.