The qualifying session in Japan was brought to an early conclusion when Daniil Kvyat crashed his Infiniti Red Bull Racing machine at high speed at the hairpin, with two wheels being ripped off the vehicle due to the force of the crash. The session was red-flagged one minute before the end following the crash and it was not restarted as the drivers did not have sufficient time to complete an out lap.
Causing substantial damage to his vehicle, Red Bull is now working hard to fix the auto in time for the race, but in doing so Kvyat – who escaped unhurt – will be forced to get underway from the pit lane. I haven’t seen a replay; I only saw the auto when I passed it but the team was on the radio to let me know he was fine. I am not as good as they are at building a vehicle but I will stay with them as long as I can tonight.
The former GP3 champion, in his second season of F1, said it was undoubtedly the biggest crash of his motorsport career.
This meant his race was affected and could only muster up a 13th place finish after starting Suzuka in the pit lane.
“I am sorry for the guys, who have had to do quite a big job…”
Kvyat’s crash, registered at 20G, came after Jules Bianchi’s ultimately fatal accident here previous year.
Asked how bad the damage is to his auto, Kvyat replied: “It looks really bad, I must say”.
Despite the ferocity of the accident, Kvyat said he was feeling “more disappointment than pain” in his post-session interview.
On his final run in Q3, Kvyat dipped two wheels on to the grass on the curved run down to the Hairpin and spun violently into the wall, with his auto being flipped 360 degrees before landing upright.
“It was by far the hardest crash I have had”. Unfortunately there is a first time for everything.
“It happens sometimes. It was my mistake, my error”.
Elsewhere on the track Saturday, Felipe Massa of Williams and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen claimed fifth and sixth positions respectively ahead of Kvyat’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo. “He would have been looking at the apex to the right so he would not have been looking at the grass”.