Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota, World Endurance Championship, 2018

Toyota blames Silverstone kerbs after double disqualification

World Endurance Championship

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Toyota has blamed damage caused by the new kerbs installed at Silverstone after both the team’s cars were disqualified following their one-two finish in yesterday’s WEC race.

The number eight car of Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, and the number seven car driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, both failed post-race deflection tests on their floors.

“Both cars suffered damage to their respective front floor areas during the race due to impacts against the new kerbs at Silverstone,” said Toyota in a statement.

“Regrettably, this also caused both cars to fail deflection tests in post-race scrutineering. As a result, race stewards disqualified both cars.”

The team said the part is not new to its TS050, which has already won two WEC races this year. “The design and construction of the part concerned has not changed since its introduction at the beginning of the 2017 season,” it said. “Since then it has successfully passed similar tests, most recently at Spa this season.”

Toyota added it has not ruled out the possibility of appealing against the decision.

The team’s exclusion promoted the two Rebellion cars to first and second place. Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes were handed the victory ahead of team mates Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Bruno Senna. Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev were promoted to third place for SMP Racing.

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Fernando Alonso/Sebastien Buemi/Kazuki Nakajima Toyota TS050, Silverstone, 2018
Fernando Alonso/Sebastien Buemi/Kazuki Nakajima Toyota TS050, Silverstone, 2018

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Keith Collantine
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17 comments on “Toyota blames Silverstone kerbs after double disqualification”

  1. Were the other competitors’ cars (most notably the Rebellion cars) subject to and pass this scrutineering test? I think that will indicate whether Toyota have merit to their claim that the kerbs caused unavoidable damage or not.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      20th August 2018, 9:54

      The #1 Rebellion was disqualified for the same reason at Spa, @phylyp. It’s not the first time a Silverstone winner has been kicked out for a worn plank either (2016). Sounds like Toyota were a bit careless.

    2. I think is fair to say that they did. It is a stupid claim to begin with, the Kerbs are the same for everyone and they could easily predict if it would create problems to their cars.

    3. @phylyp Yes, though the #91 GTE-Pro second-placed Porsche failed a different wear-related test at Silverstone, and therefore was also disqualified.

    4. @phylyp @johnmilk @alianora-la-canta

      I think this is the sort of garbage that occasionally turns people off from F1 or WEC. Seems like everyone agrees that there was no performance advantage from this (as if Toyota needed the advantage anyway). Yet, we’re disqualifying the top 2. I don’t know the rules for WEC very well, but were there no other options other than disqualification? This just seems like such a ridiculous outcome.

      1. @ajpennypacker Disqualification was the only option. This is because there are five “formulas” in WEC (LMP1-H, which Toyota was entered for, LMP1 non-hybrid, LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am), each defined by its technical regulations. A car that didn’t comply with any of them would technically be in a different formula (for which there is provision, in what used to be known as Garage 56 and now is something like “Innovative Class”, at Le Mans) and thus not deemed comparable to the others.

        Even if Toyota could prove that the damage made their car 10 seconds a lap slower, it would not help their cause; the cars were not running to formula. The concept of formulas is one of the main reasons cheating is not endemic in such a high-stakes, high-genius environment.

  2. If the kerbs cause damage, stay off the kerbs.

    1. Yep, and especially if you are already so much faster than everybody else @sham, it’s really a very Toyota sort of thing I guess, with how they so often manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      1. Imagine if Rebellion beat them to the championship this year!

      2. Maybe they needed some publicity which they don’t get only by winning… A bit of controversy should be quite good for them right now to gain this extra exposure.

        1. Especially since they a driver name Fernando Alonso in winning car and everybit of exposure helps.

          1. * they have a driver named

  3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th August 2018, 13:23

    If the same part had passed the same test successfully at Spa this season and the part has been the same since 2017 but suddenly failed the deflection test at Silverstone, then Toyota are right to suggest that the new kerbs are to blame.

    The fact that both cars had vastly different measurements and the fact they don’t match the measurement from previous races, does lend credence to the fact that the floors were impacted during the race. It’s not like manufacturers can possibly know the impact of a track on the floor areas.

    Also, did the floor not being able to pass the deflection test give Toyota an unfair advantage during the race?

    This is a really tough one, I’m not sure that they deserve to be disqualified. I think they should be required to build a new part for the next race because of the Silverstone kerbs with a disqualification upon the next failure.

    1. @freelittlebirds I agree with you. And I get no sense at all that they were trying to get away with something here…like the floor was illegal to begin with. They may have ended up having an infraction to the rules, and they appeal and still lose, but there is absolutely no reason to think they were cheating in any way.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th August 2018, 16:25

        @Robbie In view of the following comment by FlyingLobster27 above, I suppose Toyota deserved to be disqualified. It wouldn’t be fair to Rebellion if they weren’t disqualified for being in violation.

        The #1 Rebellion was disqualified for the same reason at Spa, @phylyp. It’s not the first time a Silverstone winner has been kicked out for a worn plank either (2016). Sounds like Toyota were a bit careless.

        Sounds like the strength of the floor plank at the end of the race is a really big deal in WEC and I’m guessing they must test every car at the end of the end of every race. Does anyone know why the floor plank is so important?

        Well, this is good news for the floor plank department whose salaries and staff will probably triple before the of the year as the war of the floor planks takes center stage in WEC. Let the battles begin – may the better floor plank win!!! It would be great if Alonso screams “LMP2 floor plank!!! LMP2 floor plank!” in the next race :-)

  4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    20th August 2018, 18:50

    Sorry to be pedantic but Bruno Senna wasn’t driving the second placed Rebellion, he broke his ankle in a crash on Friday.

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