After the joy of Sepang, Toro Rosso returned to track today greeted with a mechanical failure resulting in a spectacular accident involving Sebastien Buemi.
Buemi had competed five laps with a fastest time of 1:39.939, but as he was heading in to the braking zone of the back straight he applied the brakes, what followed is one of the strangest F1 accidents you will ever see; the suspension unit imploded, resulting in a second failure from the left suspension, this triggered a bizarre moment as both front wheels flew off the STR5 ,leaving him helpless a he headed into the gravel trap with no steering.
Speaking after the accident he admitted, “There's not much to say about what happened in FP1. I braked, the wheels came off and that was it.” He went on to talk of the disappointment of losing track time, “Physically, I was fine though. But I have to say, I am extremely disappointed that, once again, through no fault of my own, I have been unable to run for almost all of the three hours available. I will have to try and catch up on Saturday morning and we will be relying on Jaime's data from today to see which way to go.”
Giorgio Ascanelli from Toro Rosso talked about the accident “Sebastien's accident this morning was down to a technical problem on the right hand upright, which proved simple to identify once we got the car back. We have resolved the problem, which the many laps completed by Jaime this afternoon confirms. Sebastien's FP1 session was interrupted shortly after the start because of a fluid leak around the pedal area, which we discovered after his installation lap. Apart from the upright, the afternoon accident caused some damage to the gearbox and a combination of fixing this problem and changing the front end meant that, despite the best efforts of the mechanics, we could not get Seb out before the end of the day. Fortunately, Jaime did a lot of laps in a trouble free session, after we had stopped him as a precaution towards the end of FP1, until we had identified the problem on his team-mate's car. For his debut on this circuit, Jaime did quite a good job today.”
Jaime Alguersuari continued to impress as he finished the morning session in eleventh before going to better the time by nearly two seconds to finish eighth in the afternoon.
“Another new circuit for me: it's impressive, tough and technical but enjoyable to drive. Today went well for me, as we completed a lot of work, trying different fuel loads and working on set-up, as well as a tyre comparison. The hard tyre definitely takes a lot longer to come up to temperature, while the soft tyre seemed to work very well for us and should be good in the race. We still have work to do to improve tomorrow, but I am happy with what we have achieved so far.”
If you haven’t seen the Buemi accident click here to watch it on the BBC Formula 1 website – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8624282.stm