Susie Wolff and Felipe Nasr have both suggested that they were not to blame for causing their crash during today’s F1 pre-season test session in Barcelona.
After lunch, a red flag was put out at turn five after Nasr and Wolff collided, with a lengthy stoppage required to recover the cars.
Without TV evidence at the time, only the drivers themselves truly knew what had happened, but Nasr was left with a damaged right-rear tire, whilst Wolff’s front-left wheel was skewed, suggesting heavy contact had been made.
Speaking to the media in Barcelona on Thursday evening, Nasr said that Wolff did not see him coming when he tried to overtake her, thus causing the incident.
“I was on a push lap and could see her leaving the pits,” Nasr said. “She was driving quite slowly in front of me so as I took turn four I caught her and I saw her move to the right. I thought she knew I was coming, as she was on a slow lap.
“Then I committed myself to the braking on the inside of turn five and then I felt a big hit on my rear suspension. I don’t think she ever saw me coming. I asked if she saw me and she said that she did not see me coming.
“I was clearly on the braking zone when I felt the big hit. I committed to the move because I saw she was over to the right, and giving up the room for me.
“I can’t blame her for not seeing my car, but in Formula 1 teams are always giving you information on what cars are around you and what cars that are coming from behind. I think that was something she missed and it could have been avoided.”
However, Wolff was adamant that she was not to blame for the incident, claiming that Nasr moved his car over in an aggressive fashion.
“I stayed completely on my line,” she said. “I didn’t expect him to move across as aggressively as he did, and he hit my front left with his rear. For me, it was an unfortunate incident but not something I could have avoided.
“I went straight over to him and said ‘what the hell went on?’ and he was a bit speechless. To be honest with you I was also a bit speechless because it was one of those things that happens and you wonder how the hell did that happen. It’s stupid.”
In a video shown by Wolff to the media that has been viewed by MotorSportsTalk, the circuit CCTV footage clearly shows the accident. Wolff sticks to her line on the outside of the corner, whilst Nasr cuts across at the last second, causing the contact.
“For me, what’s clear is that I’m staying straight, and he’s coming over too aggressively,” Wolff said. “I don’t know if he expected me to try to optimize the corner entry, but if you know I’m there then you he could have just gone into the corner.”
Nevertheless, Wolff was happy to take the positives out of an otherwise successful day that saw her complete 86 laps behind the wheel of the FW37 car.
“Our day was set up so for the morning I had a race simulation, a soft one, and then in the afternoon I was going to do some performance runs which for me would have been the highlight of the day without a doubt,” Wolff said. “You always have to look at the positives and this morning I learned a lot from doing so many laps.
“We learned a lot as a team getting so many laps in, and for me a lot of positives to take from the FW37 compared to the FW36. We just discussed in our briefing now it’s about looking at the positives because what happened in the afternoon was out of our hands. We still learned a lot.”