Carlos Sainz crashed heavily during the second half of the first free practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, acknowledging afterwards that a slight mistake at the legendary Suzuka circuit can have hefty consequences.
The Toro Rosso driver was on a hot lap when he got wide into the Turn 11 hairpin, missing the apex, the right rear tyre tagged the grass on the exit and thereafter he became a passenger as his car speared into the barrier on the other side of the track. The Spaniard emerged from his wrecked car unscathed.
Speaking after the incident, Sainz explained, “It looked quite incredible on the TV, but luckily it wasn’t such a big one from inside the cockpit. We can’t forget that a minimal miscalculation here can make you pay a big price!”
“The accident was a bit of a pity. I didn’t expect it to happen, I just clipped the outside kerb a bit too much and it sent me into a spin and then into the barriers.”
“It was one of those accidents where you don’t have an explanation. It was a mistake for sure from my side, and something I will obviously not like in the future to repeat.
Toro Rosso mechanics worked had before FP2 to get the car repaired, but in the end it was to no avail as the session was wet and encouraged very little running. Only five cars completed the session.
Sainz said, “I’m happy that the mechanics could put the car back together for FP2 – they did an amazing job like they always do, pushing for me and the team.
“We were ready to run in FP2, but unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t help us and we were only able to complete an installation lap. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!” added Sainz who has a 20 place grid penalty for the race on Sunday.
The Spaniard is driving his final five races in Toro Rosso colours. Next year he will be on loan to Renault.