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Kamui Kobayashi has apologised but claims it would have been ‘impossible’ to avoid taking Jenson Button out of Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix. Just a week after picking up a maiden podium finish at Suzuka, the Japanese driver twice hit the McLaren and was for that reason brandished an ‘idiot’ by the 2009 World Champion.
On the rapid run to Turn 3, Kobayashi first bounced off the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg before clouting the right-rear and right-front wheels of Button, with the second impact in particular destroying the McLaren’s suspension.
“This is a race to forget,” Kobayashi said after suffering very contrasting fortunes to seven days ago. “Initially I had a good start but then we were four cars side-by-side approaching Turn 3.
"I had Nico to the right and Jenson and Sergio (Pérez) on my left-hand side. Someone hit my rear tyre and then it was impossible to control the car, but I had to brake at some point.
“I didn’t manage to avoid the accident and I feel very sorry for ruining someone else’s race - and certainly this was not my intention. It was just a very difficult moment and I had nowhere to go, but I think it was my mistake. I pitted for repairs but my car had too much damage to finish the race, so we had to give up after 17 laps.”
Button also received a hit from Pérez, his team-mate of next year, at the first corner. Since signing for McLaren ahead of 2013, the Mexican has been involved in on-track dramas; at Suzuka, he spun out of the race while battling with Lewis Hamilton.
Further post-race reaction:
|1.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||1:36:28.651|
|2.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+8.231|
|6.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+45.301|
|8.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||+1:09.589|
|9.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||+1:11.787|
|25 May||Button laments loss of power in Q3|
|25 May||We were too ambitious, admits Whitmarsh|
|23 May||Button: Long race pace surprisingly good|
|25 May||Video of the Day: Sauber tech bites - CFD|
|24 May||Video: Sauber drivers preview Monaco GP|
|13 May||Hülkenberg: We have homework ahead|
|2012 South Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|16 Oct '12||F1 video: BBC team learns ‘Gangnam Style’|
|16 Oct '12||Hamilton: There is no rift with Button|
|16 Oct '12||Button denies negative Hamilton comments|
|25 May||Hamilton relieved to claim front row start|
|23 May||Hamilton satisfied with long run pace|
|23 May||Video: Rosberg, Hamilton in Mercedes advert|
|23 May||Kobayashi returns to Formula 1 paddock|
|10 Apr||Video: Fisichella, Kobayashi on WEC season|
|4 Apr||Video: Kobayashi looks ahead to WEC debut|
|25 May||Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco|
|25 May||Alonso: Fighting for victory very unlikely|
|25 May||Wolff confirms engine talks with Williams|