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Kobayashi cleared: No kamikaze here

2014-03-17 08:15

NOT GUILTY: Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi indeed crashed into the back of Felipe Massa's Williams - but it wasn't his fault. Felipe, wipe the egg off your face... Image: AP

MELBOURNE, Australia - Japan's Kamui Kobayashi has been cleared of any blame for a crash just after the start of the 2014 Australian GP on Sunday (March 16).

An investigation blamed brake failure.

Kobabayashi, in his first race for Caterham, hit the rear of Felipe Massa's Williams  going into Turn 1, ending the season-opening race for both drivers.

Massa had called for Kobayashi to be given a one-race ban as punishment for the crash (innocent until proven guilty, Felipe?), the same as that for Lotus's Romain Grosjean after a similar incident at Belgium in 2012.

Stewards reviewed technical data and found the crash was "caused by a serious technical failure completely outside the control of the driver".

'I COULDN'T DO MUCH...'

Kobayashi had initially accepted blame but after the investigation said: "That isn't how I wanted my first race back to go and I'm sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early.

"From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn't do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem.

"After the race I went to the stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We'll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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