21 Oct 2014

This Is Why Kamui Kobayashi Retired From The Russian GP

Kamui Kobayashi retired from the Russian GP. At the time he said there was nothing wrong with the car but that the team wanted to save mileage on parts. Now, it seems he was protecting the team and himself - he thought his suspension would collapse following a botched repair.

The BBC has seen Kamui's personal Facebook page, which is only visible to friends of the Japanese driver, where he posted this photo and several updates on the car.

On the Friday of the Russian GP Kamui posted: "Scary! Last night a suspension defect was found. There's no spare so it was repaired by wrapping it in carbon. It's checked all the time but, even so, being asked to race like this is too scary! I want to go home already. From here on there are still practices and the race to go. I'm seriously troubled. As a racing driver, should I drive? Should I safely decline? I drive again in 15 minutes…"

Caterham told the BBC Kobayashi was, "...kept informed at all times and at no time did he have any reason to believe it was not safe," and, "It was extensively evaluated at Sochi and Leafield and ultimately a carbon-fibre wrap was applied to provide additional reinforcement - a normal procedure. The component was signed off as safe and re-checked between each subsequent session, to be absolutely sure there was no issue." 

Scary stuff, especially following Jules Bianchi's accident in Japan the week before.

By Matt Hubbard