F1: Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi regrets pit chaos at British Grand Prix
Kamui Kobayashi has apologised to his Sauber team after sending four mechanics flying during the British Grand Prix.
Kobayashi overcooked his approach into the pit box as he came in for his second stop, hitting three of the crew ready to change his front-right tyre and the front-jack man. Stewards later fined Kobayashi 25,000 euros (£19,830).
Two of the team were taken to Silverstone’s medical centre for treatment, one for an injured thumb and the other for cuts and bruises, while a third suffered a bruised foot.
Kobayashi, who finished just outside the points in 11th, said: “I braked too late in the pit lane. 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.”
Meanwhile, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was fined and accused of being “very dangerous” for Formula One after ending a rival’s race for a second successive grand prix. The Venezuelan was hit with a 10,000 euro fine and reprimanded by stewards after a collision with Sergio Perez shunted the Sauber driver off the track and out of the race.
Two weeks ago, Maldonado received a 20-second penalty at the European Grand Prix, knocking him out of the points, after crashing into Lewis Hamilton and sending the McLaren into a wall. The controversies have taken the gloss off Maldonado’s first-ever win, at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, with Perez demanding tougher action against him.
“He is a very stupid driver. He ran Hamilton out of the race in Valencia,” Perez said. “I don’t know why the stewards don’t take more action against him.
“We are risking our lives out there and if they (the stewards) don’t do something he will hurt someone. For all the drivers he is very dangerous driver on the circuit.”
However, Maldonado, who finished 17th, defended his driving style and said: “I tried to defend and lost the rear of the car and we bumped tires. It was disappointing. It was an unlucky race for me and that is it.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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