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Kobayashi apologises for pit accident

8 July 2012

The Sauber garage was left shaken after Kamui Kobayashi's last pit stop for a final change of tyres during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which saw the mechanics sent flying when the car came in too fast and deep.

Thankfully there were no serious injuries to Sauber team personnel arising from Kobayashi's unfortunate mistake coming in, for which the Japanese driver took full responsibility.

"It was my fault," said the Sauber driver after the race, which saw him finish just outside the points. "I overshot the braking. I had no practice running in the dry so I did not know how much I could push. I pushed too much and I apologise to the team."

Fortunately there was no serious harm done, with the team confirming on Twitter that of the two mechanics taken on the medical centre, "One has injured a thumb and the other has cuts and bruises to his left leg."

"Of course I had to push hard for points, but without doubt I braked too late in the pit lane," added Kobayashi. "The front wheels locked, I couldn't control the car, and this is how I overshot the pit box. I am terribly sorry this happened, and I hope the three mechanics I hit get well soon."

"I am obviously hoping our three mechanics make a speedy recovery from their injuries and are fully fit again very soon," echoed a understandably shaken team principal Peter Sauber after the incident.

The accident overshadowed a decent race performance by Kobayashi, who had started from 17th place after not getting the wet/intermediate tyre strategy right in Q2 in qualifying on Saturday but who had been running in the top ten before the incident. The 15 seconds that he lost in the pits as a result undoubtedly made the difference in his final position.

"Up to this happening my race was good," Kobayashi agreed. "I had improved from 17th on the grid to a top ten position, and was hoping for points." Instead, Kobayashi finished in 11th place after the pit lane mishap.

"He had a very good chance of scoring points," said Peter Sauber. "We were looking forward to an exciting race, with good results possible for us."

The team's day had already been hit by controversy following the early clash between their driver Sergio Perez and Williams' Pastor Maldonado. Peter Sauber himself steered clear of adding further to Perez' furious comments abut the Venezuelan. (See separate story - CLICK HERE)

"The accident between Sergio and Pastor Maldonado will be investigated by the FIA, but whatever happens it was the end of Sergio's race," he said.


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