Sebastien Buemi was ‘extremely disappointed’ following practice for the Chinese GP, after he crashed out at high speed when both of his front wheels parted company with his car.
Buemi had already missed much of FP1 due to brake problems on his STR5, and had only completed five timed laps when, approaching the hairpin on the back straight with 10 minutes remaining, he lost control when he suddenly found he only had two wheels.
Watch Buemi’s Toro Rosso go bang:
Although he escaped unhurt and soon extracted himself from the remains of his car, he was frustrated to have lost out on so much time behind the wheel.
“There’s not much to say about what happened in FP1. I braked, the wheels came off and that was it,” he said matter-of-factly. “Physically, I was fine, though.
“But I have to say, I am extremely disappointed that, once again, through no fault of my own, I have been unable to run for almost all of the three hours available. I will have to try and catch up on Saturday morning and we will be relying on Jaime [Alguersuari]’s data from today to see which way to go.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso soon identified the problem and confirmed that a new upright was to blame: “Sebastien’s accident this morning was down to a technical problem on the right hand upright, which proved simple to identify once we got the car back. We have resolved the problem, which the many laps completed by Jaime this afternoon confirms,” said technical director Giorgio Ascanelli.
“Apart from the upright, the accident caused some damage to the gearbox, and a combination of fixing this problem and changing the front end meant that, despite the best efforts of the mechanics, we could not get Seb out before the end of the day.
“Fortunately though, Jaime did a lot of laps in a trouble free session, after we had stopped him as a precaution towards the end of FP1, until we had identified the problem on his team mate’s car.”