Vergne describes qualifying fire
12 October 2013 – Jean-Éric Vergne says jammed rear brakes led to the rear of his Toro Rosso catching fire during the opening phase of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Frenchman, who caused a brief red flag period when his car ground to a halt amid plumes of smoke, will start tomorrow's Grand Prix from 17th when Adrian Sutil's five-place grid drop is applied, but admits that plenty of work lies ahead for his team.
"As I was going out of the pits, my engineer was on the radio to me, so I had to wait until the middle of Sector 1 before I could tell him something," said Vergne. "I thought I had an engine problem, but then I realised the rear brakes were stuck. I tried to brake and there was nothing in the pedal, then I saw the fire and had to stop the car.
"The team will have a lot of work to do tonight, because it took quite a while for the fire to be out. Hopefully the main components are undamaged, but there will be many things to change. I am fine, apart from getting extinguisher material in my helmet."
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo made it through to Q2, but could only finish 16th.