MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Kamui Kobayashi was cleared of any blame over a first-lap crash at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday after an investigation discovered a brake failure.
Kobabayashi, in his first race for Caterham, plowed into the back of Felipe Massa’s Williams at turn one in an incident which ended the season-opening grand prix for both drivers.
Massa later called for Kobayashi to be given a one-race ban over the crash, the same punishment handed to Lotus’ Romain Grosjean after a similar incident at Belgium in 2012.
But after reviewing technical data, stewards found the crash was caused by a “serious technical failure completely outside the control of the driver”.
Kobayashi had initally accepted blame, but after the investigation he 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.”