Japanese Grand Prix – Robert Kubica is facing a race against time to take part in the race at Suzuka as Williams need to change his chassis.
Robert Kubica was eliminated almost immediately from qualifying at Suzuka. Having completed his outlap, the Polish driver was speeding up to start his flying lap when, exiting the final chicane, he ran wide and onto the grass. This sucked his car into the barriers on the outside of the circuit and he crashed quite heavily.
This brought out the red flags and, with the race just four hours away from the moment of his crash, Williams were immediately under pressure to get the car fixed up in time.
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The car was returned to the garage within minutes, as a result of Kubica’s proximity to the pitlane when he crashed.
Williams have since confirmed that his chassis is being changed for the race and that they have sufficient spare parts to prepare the car for the race. A spokesperson for the team says that the change ‘will be tight, but they are doing everything they can and they are confident they can do it”.
“High price for a relatively small off” said Kubica afterwards. “I just opened it up, starting the lap, and there was probably a few factors that led to this. I put the wheel slightly off the track, missed the space, and that had me on the grass. The wall came quite quickly and, as I said, there was a few factors which are contributing. I don’t want to go into detail but the whole story started before qualifying.”
With the chassis change occurring, as well as a new gearbox fitted to the FW42, it means that Kubica will start the race from the pitlane if repairs are done in time. The race stewards have already granted permission for the Williams driver to start the race, after failing to set a time in qualifying.