F1 »

Japanese Grand Prix: Early end to Vergne's day

For the second weekend in succession, a car bearing the livery of the Red Bull drinks brand was sitting by the side of the track with flames and smoke billowing from the rear.
Last week it was Mark Webber's car, this time it was the sister Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne that was stricken, in what appeared to be a case of rear brakes overheating and setting light to the bodywork in an incident serious enough to force race control to briefly red flag the session as marshalls scrambled to the scene and smothered the STR8 with extinguisher.

"As I was going out of the pits, my engineer was on the radio to me, so I had to wait until the middle of sector 1 before I could tell him something," reported Vergne after he made his way back to the pits. "I thought I had an engine problem, but then I realised the rear brakes were stuck.

"I tried to brake and there was nothing in the pedal, then I saw the fire and had to stop the car," he continued. "The team will have a lot of work to do tonight, because it took quite a while for the fire to be out. Hopefully the main components are undamaged, the engine and gearbox, but there will be many things to change.

The explained that the cause of the fire had been "a rear brake circuit problem", with Toro Rosso's technical director James Key confirming that the car was fully repairable in time for Sunday's race.

As for the driver himself, Vergne said that "I am fine, apart from getting a bit of fire extinguisher material in my helmet," although his early exit from qualifying means that he will now have to start the race from 17th position on the grid.

"It won't be an easy race starting from this far back, especially as it is not so easy to overtake at Suzuka," he said. "I just hope that I have used up all my share of [all this bad luck] for next year, too."

Vergne's team mate Daniel Ricciardo will start only one place ahead of him on Sunday, after the team spent much of Q2 checking over the Australian's car to ensure that it would not suffer a similar fate.

"From what I've been told there's no reason for me to be concerned about it for the race, as everything was fine on my car," said Ricciardo when asked if the issue might rear up again in the Grand Prix itself.

"That wasn't a good session for us, which is disappointing as yesterday was one of the best Fridays we have had in a while," said Ricciardo of his own qualifying performance. "The wind has played a bit of a part today, but we definitely should have been further up than that.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.10.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
11.10.2013- Free Practice 1, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
11.10.2013- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
11.10.2013- Free Practice 1, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
15.11.2015 - Race, A Ferrari fan
15.11.2015 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
15.11.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 waves to the fans
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
15.11.2015 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
15.11.2015 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
15.11.2015 - Race, William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
15.11.2015 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
15.11.2015 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group | Built by Accelerate Agency

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.