Stuck brakes caused Vergne’s qualifying fire

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Jean-Eric Vergne says his rear brakes caught fire in Q1 because they had jammed on.

Vergne’s brakes were already burning by the time he reached the Degner Curves and he pulled over at the hairpin with both rear brakes ablaze. The session had to be red-flagged while marshals put the fire out.

“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 one before I could tell him something,” explained 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,” he added. “Hopefully the main components are undamaged, the engine and gearbox, but there will be many things to change.”

Vergne was not injured in the incident. “I am fine”, he said, “apart from getting a bit of fire extinguisher material in my helmet”.

Technical director James Key said Vergne’s car would be “fully repairable for tomorrow’s race”.

Meanwhile Sauber confirmed Esteban Gutierrez’s fire in their garage was caused by unburnt fuel.

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Stuck brakes caused Vergne’s qualifying fire”

  1. vergne’s luck… i can honestly say i haven’t felt this bad for an f1 driver before.

    1. @rigi last time I felt so sorry was for HAM at McLaren. Poor JEV, his bad luck prevented him to eventually shine and he surely lost THE top seat partially because of that.

      1. Agreed. I think Vergne is a pretty decent driver. If you just look at the results without considering the bad luck that is in no way his fault, that is just skewed. In the end with he and Ricciardo so close, it could have unfairly tipped the scales. In the long run I think Vergne will get his chance to shine.

  2. I begin to feel really bad about Vergne… Then I just think about di Resta

  3. Vergne’s bad luck eclipses di Resta’s as the former has been the innocent victim of his DNFs not to mention the two times other cars have driven into him in the pits.
    I hope he gets to murder that black cat as it obviously got past passport control coming out of Europe.

  4. Maybe the mechanics should take Kimis advice and do less talking and more listening.

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