Daniil Kvyat last night spoke about the alarming 120mph crash that brought a premature end to qualifying to this morning’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The session was red flagged after the Russian lost control of his Red Bull on the exit of turn 10 and crashed heavily into the barriers at 120mph.
His car was launched into the air and completed a 360 degree spin before it landed upright.
The left-hand side of Kvyat’s Red Bull was completely destroyed and his team were due to work through last night to change his chassis so he could take part in the race.
The Russian qualified 10th but was due to begin his race in the pit lane following the repair job.
“I am massively sorry for the guys who will have to do quite a job,” said Kvyat, who was given the all-clear to take part in today’s race after a brief visit to the on-track medical centre.
“The car did not look great so I will be supporting them tonight. I am not as good at building the car as they are but I will stay with them as long as I can because I feel sorry for them.”
Kvyat’s crash, registered at 20G, came after Jules Bianchi’s ultimately fatal accident here last year.
Bianchi died in July after he succumbed to the horrific brain injuries he sustained after crashing into a recovery vehicle in the rain-hit race.
Explaining the incident, Kvyat said: “It was a rookie mistake, I put two wheels on the grass and that’s it.
“It was by far the hardest crash I have had. I have never had a crash in my career until now – maybe karting – but I have never rolled the car. Unfortunately there is a first time for everything.”
Kvyat’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified seventh, added: “It was spectacular and got everyone talking, but it is good he is OK. It is a silly accident but it is easy to do. As a driver you try to be greedy and use as much of the track as possible as it is the quickest way to go, but it is sometimes easy to happen – as silly an accident as it is – because you are only using your peripheral vision to see the outside of the track. He would have been looking at the apex to the right so he would not have been looking at the grass.”
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg earned pole position, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton second on the grid. They were preparing for their final timed laps when Kvyat’s accident occurred.
Hamilton reckoned he was on course to snatch pole position from Rosberg before Kvyat’s crash. He was midway through his final timed lap when the red flags brought an immediate halt to proceedings.
“I was working on perhaps the best lap I have ever done here, but I never got to finish it,” said Hamilton. “I lost a tenth and a half in the last corner on my first lap, but the next lap was pretty quick.”