Formula 1
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
28 Mar
FP1 in
21 days
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
28 days
Formula E
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
36 days
28 Feb
Event finished
Las Vegas
07 Mar
Race in
3 days
16 Apr
Next event in
42 days
23 Apr
Next event in
49 days
04 Apr
Race in
30 days
01 May
Race in
57 days
27 Feb
Event finished
18 Mar
Next event in
13 days

Fenestraz would be happy to finish last after third DNF

Sacha Fenestraz says he doesn’t care if he finishes last in his next Super Formula race, after suffering an early retirement for the third time in row at Autopolis last weekend.

Fenestraz would be happy to finish last after third DNF

Kondo Racing driver Fenestraz’s poor run of luck continued on Sunday as his left-rear wheel became detached on lap five of 41, putting him out of the race.

It followed his first-corner retirements in the previous two races at Okayama and Sugo, where he was eliminated by other drivers crashing into him - Tadasuke Makino (triggered by Tosihiki Oyu) in the former case and Kazuki Nakajima in the latter.

Following his latest bout of misfortune, Fenestraz told that the team was at a loss to explain the wheel loss, with no damage evident on first inspection, also joking that he was happy to have at least made it beyond Turn 1 this time.

“It’s a shame,” continued Fenestraz. “It’s another DNF where I couldn’t do much really, it was outside of my control. It’s another race where I could have learned a lot. 

“Until then I felt good, I was managing the tyres, it was looking good. It’s easy to say now, but I think we could have had a chance of a podium or at least P4, because Kenta [Yamashita, teammate] was there [in P5].”

Sacha Fenestraz(KONDO RACING)

Sacha Fenestraz(KONDO RACING)

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Fenestraz’s early stoppage caused the first of two safety car periods as he initially tried to make it back to the pits before giving up and parking up his stricken Toyota-powered Dallara by the side of the track.

“It was the exit of Turn 3 [where I first felt the problem],” he recalled. “I had a massive slide and I thought I had a puncture. But the tyre pressures looked fine, and then I turned into the next corner and I looked in the mirror and I saw the wheel go. 

“I tried to make it back to the box, but there is an anti-stall system and it was messing it up with the wheel off. It was a mistake to be honest, I could have avoided causing a safety car.”

Fenestraz’s early retirement came at the end of a weekend that saw the Frenchman fail to make Q3 for the first time this season, as he only qualified ninth - although he maintained his perfect qualifying record against Yamashita.

With just 15 points to his name from the opening four rounds, Fenestraz says he is setting himself no objectives for the rest of the season except gaining experience.

Asked what he hoped to achieve next time out at Suzuka, he replied: “To be honest I’ll be happy if I can finish the race. Even if I’m a lap down and last, I don’t care, I just want to drive and learn, that’s what I need.”

Hirakawa frustrated to lose chance to win from 19th

Previous article

Hirakawa frustrated to lose chance to win from 19th

Next article

Calderon 'finally' understanding Super Formula tyres

Calderon 'finally' understanding Super Formula tyres
Load comments

About this article

Series Super Formula
Event Autopolis
Drivers Sacha Fenestraz
Teams Kondo Racing
Author Jamie Klein