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Kobayashi crashes in Moscow

NEWS STORY
22/07/2013

Former Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi escaped injury when he crashed his Ferrari F1 car during the Moscow City Racing event at the weekend.

Ahead of next year's inaugural Russian Grand Prix, due to be held at Sochi, the fifth running of the Moscow City Racing event saw five F1 teams take to the (wet) streets of the capital.

Along with McLaren, Lotus, Caterham and Marussia, Ferrari sent a 2009 F60 for the popular Japanese driver. However, caught out by the slippery road surface, Kobayashi crashed heavily, head-on into the barriers lining the track.

Amazingly, Kobayashi was totally unharmed and while his car sustained much damage the Japanese driver was able to go out again just twenty minutes later for a final run against the backdrop of the walls of the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

“It was great to be able to represent Ferrari at such an important event,” he subsequently told the Ferrari website. “It is important to be able to bring Formula 1 close to the public with promotional events like this: a shame about the rain as otherwise the crowd might have been even bigger.

"The crash?" he continued. "The track was very slippery and there was a marked bump at that point, which is why I hit the barrier. A shame, but I am pleased the team let me out again after a few minutes.”

Of the five teams present in Moscow, only Ferrari had brought two cars ready to use. With the barriers so close and escape roads reduced to a minimum, the risks of a crash are clearly higher than at a permanent circuit. "You need to have a good number of spare parts and even a second car, so as not to deprive the spectators who maybe never have a chance to see at first hand, the spectacle of the highest level of motor sport," said the team.

Ironically, a little earlier the Japanese had been telling reporters of his desire to return to F1, taking the opportunity to knock the increasing practice of recruiting pay drivers.

"At the moment, there are many teams who prefer to choose their drivers based on how much money they can bring, rather than on their ability on track," he moaned. "I hope this trend will change, because my aim is to be back there as soon as possible and I am working hard to succeed."

On-board footage of the crash can be found here

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