Susie Wolff crashes out of Barcelona test after collision with Felipe Nasr
Accident occurred at Turn Five at the Circuit de Catalunya
By William Esler and James Galloway in Barcelona
Last Updated: 16/03/15 2:29pm
Susie Wolff's first appearance of the year on the opening day of the Barcelona test ended with a high-speed crash after her Williams collided with Felipe Nasr's Sauber.
Wolff was on an out lap at the time when the accident occured, while the Brazilian was on a hot lap as the two drivers approached Turn Five at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Although both Nasr and Wolff were unhurt in the crash, their collision resulted in a 20 minute delay while their two cars were retrieved from the gravel trap. The Sauber, in particular, suffered extensive damage with the rear-wing of Nasr's car apparently ripped off.
Speaking to reporters after losing the majority of her afternoon's running as a result of the bizarre incident, Wolff placed the blame squarely at Nasr's door, admitting she couldn't believe the collision had happened.
"I stayed completely on my line, I didn’t expect him to move across as aggressively as he did and he hit my front-left [tyre] with his rear. For me it was an unfortunate incident but not something I could have avoided," the Williams test driver explained.
"I went straight over to him and said ‘what the hell went on’? He was a bit speechless and to be honest with you I was also a bit speechless because it was one of those things that happened and you said to yourself ‘how the hell did that just happen?’ It’s stupid."
After showing the assembled journalists a video clip of the incident on her phone which had been sent to her by Race Control, Wolff added: "I was shocked that it even happened to be honest. I was running, I don’t know for how many laps, with no traffic around me whatsoever. Let’s face it, it’s not as though there are many cars on track, and for that to happen...
"At the point that it happened I was speechless and thinking ‘how did that just happen’ because he flew over the wheel. It was quite an impact and strange ultimately."
However, Nasr had a very different version of the incident and the subsequent converstation in the gravel.
“I was clearly on the braking zone already, a few metres after the braking zone, and suddenly I felt a big hit,” the Brazilian said.
“I was committed to the move because I saw she was enough to the right and had given up the room for me, but I don’t know how much she was aware of my car coming. The only thing I asked was if she saw me and she said no she didn’t see me coming.
“In Formula 1 the teams are always trying to give you the best information about the cars that are around you and the cars that are coming behind and I think maybe that was something that she missed and it could have been avoided.
“She said she wasn’t aware of me, so I don’t know if she didn’t get the message from the team or didn’t check the mirrors.
“It is clearly something you have to exercise when it comes to a race weekend because it gets so busy with 20 cars on track that you have to be aware who is in front and who is behind and who is coming on a quick lap and who is on a cool down lap.”
Wolff, who had already completed over 80 laps prior to the accident, briefly returned to the track in the final minutes of the session, only for Nasr's Sauber to break down and trigger an early end to proceedings. Only Lewis Hamilton, who withdrew from the action after just two hours, finished below Wolff in the timesheets, with the Scot's fastest lap almost four seconds shy of the benchmark recorded by Pastor Maldonado.
She said that the Nasr clash meant she lost the chance to complete some lower fuel laps on fresher tyres.
"In the morning I had race simulation, a soft one, and then in the afternoon I was going to do some performance runs which were for me the highlight of the day," she added.
"But you always have to look at the positives and this morning I learnt a lot from doing so many laps and we learnt as lot as the team. There are a lot of positives to take from the FW37 compared to the 36."