Tsuboi accepts blame for Kobayashi's high-speed crash

Sho Tsuboi has accepted the blame for causing Kamui Kobayashi’s high-speed crash in Sunday’s Super Formula race at Autopolis.

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Inging's Tsuboi made contact with Kobayashi at Turn 2 on lap 5 of 42 at the Kyushu circuit, pitching the KCMG driver into the barriers at high-speed.

The incident triggered the second safety car period of the race, with an opening lap off for Toshiki Oyu having caused the first caution.

Tsuboi had to pit for a fresh front wing after the collision, and later was handed a drive-through penalty that dropped him to 13th position at the finish, continuing his abysmal start to the 2022 season despite his red hot pre-season testing form.

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Although the lead-up to the contact was not shown clearly on the TV broadcast, Tsuboi admitted he was at fault.

“Kobayashi and I were fighting at Turn 1, I was on the outside,” recalled Tsuboi. “I didn’t think I could pass him under braking, so I cut across to the inside, which meant Kobayashi was on the outside for Turn 2 and I drew alongside him on the inside.

“My speed on the exit was better, so I thought I could pass him into Turn 3 and I wanted to hold the inside line. Of course Kamui doesn’t want to be passed, so he wants to defend, but he saw me coming and left me space.

“At that point, I dipped my right-front and right-rear on the dirt [on the inside of Turn 2]. Before that, I thought I could pass him on the brakes, but maybe my decision [to attack] was late.”


Kobayashi told Motorsport.com there was no doubt that Tsuboi was at fault for the collision, adding that the Inging driver had already apologised to him.

“He just hit my rear tyre with the front of his car, and my tyre was just cut, it just blew up suddenly,” explained Kobayashi. 

“I had no control and I went straight into the wall at over 200km/h. It was quite a big hit, unfortunately. I was ok, but the car has big damage.

“If he was driving by himself he would have gone off… he just came in too hot. He already explained to me, he apologised. Definitely it was avoidable.”

Kobayashi added he was hoping to go for a long first stint, raising the prospect of him being able to score points despite qualifying a disappointing 14th place.


“I was struggling for pace, I had some pick-up,” he said. “The release of the [first] safety car was quite a late call, so it took me by surprise.  

“I didn’t want to push too much initially because I wanted to do a long stint, I was trying to save the tyres, this was my target.

“We improved a little bit since the start of the season, but not enough. We need more.”


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