Jaime Alguersuari was luckily left with only his pride dented following a major off in the late stages of the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Spaniard had run well all afternoon climbing as high as ninth just prior to his second pit stop. But soon after that visit to pitlane, Alguersuari lost control of his STR4 on the entry to the flat-out 130R turn and crashed heavily into the tyre wall.
“I lost the rear end of the car and crashed into the wall, but I’m not sure why, as it was inexplicable and I would like to see the data, in case there might have been something wrong with the pressure of the rear tyres or a puncture,” he said of the lap 46 accident, which caused the only safety car period of an otherwise quiet race utterly dominated by sister team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Alguersuari climbed from the wreckage and initially appeared fine, but was then moved to a stretcher though this later turned out to be a precautionary measure. “I am really, really sorry for what happened,” he said.
The race was equally frustrating for Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso team-mate Sébastien Buemi, whose race was over almost before it started. “I had a problem with the clutch, right from the start of the parade lap, when I couldn’t get off the grid. We tried to fix the problem by adjusting the clutch map, but again for the real start, it didn’t work. Then, after a few laps the clutch failed and I had to retire in the pits.
“It’s a real shame as the weekend had seemed promising right from Friday in the wet. In qualifying the car was quick enough to get me into Q3 before the accident, so maybe I could have scored points today. Now we have to prepare for Brazil where the top teams might not bring so many developments to their car. So I hope we can end the season with two good races.”