Looking past all of the Daniel Ricciardo hoopla and the complaints about the different sounds coming from this year’s Formula 1 cars, another story briefly hit the headlines on Sunday at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix: Kamui Kobayashi’s rather sizable accident with Felipe Massa.
Just seconds into the race, Kobayashi’s Caterham had a fairly major lock-up and slammed into the back of Massa’s Williams at Turn 1, leading to the instant retirement of both.
While our very own snapper, George Hitchens, was on hand to provide us with these previously unseen images from the inside of Turn 1, Massa was quick to throw a very predictable dummy spit, as we pointed out:
— RichardsF1.com (@richardsf1) March 16, 2014
“I think it’s not difficult to say what happened,” Massa said, engaging mouth before brain. “Starting the first race and braking at 50 metres, you cannot do anything… it’s different.
“It’s no different to what Grosjean did at Spa and I’m sorry but you cannot do that, you cannot do that.”
Massa was quick to suggest that Kobayashi be hit with a race ban similar to what was dished out to Grosjean after the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix start-line shunt, the damage to Kobayashi’s CT05 – which had its front suspension detach rather too easily – suggested a more mechanical influence.
And the FIA Stewards ruled that to be the case after examining the available evidence, including driver testimonies, telemetry and onboard video footage.
“The stewards determine that the incident was caused by a serious technical failure completely outside the control of the driver,” the FIA stewards’ statement reads.
“The team is directed to work with the FIA Technical Delegate in determining the cause of the systems failure.”
Having apologised upfront for possibly being at fault, Kobayashi later clarified his position while still showing regret for Felipe’s retirement:
Find out system fail was no rear brake so this was problem of accident. Sorry to Felipe but was not my mistake.
>— KAMUI KOBAYASHI (@kamui_kobayashi) March 16, 2014
Someone criticize me on twitter but I want ask how can I stop the car with out rear brake? I need jump out to push back the car?
— KAMUI KOBAYASHI (@kamui_kobayashi) March 17, 2014
However, Massa has still not been gracious enough to return the favour, and no apology to Kamui – publicly at least – has been forthcoming.
Once a prima donna…
Images via George Hitchens and exclusive to RichardsF1.com