Caterham hit back at Kobayashi worries over suspension safety

Frank Dalleres
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CASH-STRAPPED Formula One team Caterham have defended their safety procedures after it emerged that driver Kamui Kobayashi was fearful of driving his car at this month’s Russian Grand Prix.

Kobayashi wrote on Facebook that he felt “seriously troubled” by a suspension fault that could not be replaced so instead had to be wrapped in carbon for the final practice session.

The Japanese driver added of the incident, which came just days after Marussia’s Jules Bianchi suffered severe head injuries at the previous race at Suzuka: “Being asked to race like this is too scary!”

Kobayashi’s comments came on a private Facebook account and were later deleted.

He safely completed 12 laps in final practice but retired from the race two days later.

Caterham said the carbon wrap was “normal procedure” for a “small inconsistency” in Kobayashi’s car’s left rear suspension.

The team added: “The component was signed off as safe and re-checked between each subsequent session, to be absolutely sure there was no issue.

“Kamui withdrew the post mentioned and drove the car in this form throughout the rest of the weekend, with no hint of any other problem with the suspension.”

Former team bosses Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali have joined a panel tasked with investigating Bianchi’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix. Frenchman Bianchi, 25, remains in critical condition.