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Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 09:54 UK

Sebastien Buemi escapes 200mph crash unhurt in Shanghai

Sebastien Buemi

Buemi's wheels shear off in F1 crash

Sebastien Buemi escaped unhurt after the front wheels flew off his Toro Rosso car in a dramatic crash during Chinese Grand Prix practice.

The Swiss, 21, careered off the track at the end of the long back straight, where cars are doing about 194mph.

Buemi said: "From in the car it was not a problem. I just lost both wheels."

Toro Rosso said the crash had been caused by a failure of the front-right upright, which caused an immediate failure of the same part on the left.

The crash happened with 10 minutes remaining of the first session while Buemi was on only his sixth lap after sitting out the majority of the 90-minute session because of a brake-system leak.

It looked spectacular but from inside the car it was not

Sebastian Buemi

The crash left debris strewn all across the Shanghai International Circuit, forcing race director Charlie Whiting to call for the red flags and stop the practice session.

Toro Rosso prevented their other driver, the Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari, from taking any further part in the session while they investigated the cause of the crash.

Buemi said: "There's not much to say about what happened. I braked, the wheels came off and that was it. Physically, I was fine though.

"But I have to say, I am extremely disappointed that, once again, through no fault of my own, I have been unable to run for almost all of the three hours available."

Asked if the crash would knock his confidence, he said: "Not really - something broke, it happened, we changed all the car, so it will be fine. I don't think about it at all.

Sebastien Buemi exchanges angry words with a team official
Buemi vented his anger at his team after the crash

"It was really wide, a lot of run-off, it looked spectacular but from inside the car it was not. It takes a bit of time to understand what happened but it was not so big."

A team spokesman said: "Buemi's incident in FP1 was caused by the failure of the front-right upright. Both cars had been fitted with new uprights for this race. They had not been used previously.

"The exact cause of the failure within the component has yet to be identified.

"For FP2 and the rest of the weekend, both cars will be fitted with uprights from a validated batch.

"Why did the left wheel come off as well? Because once one upright fails the loads on the remaining one are too great.

Mr T

"Why did the wheels come off when they are tethered? Because the wheel tethers were attached to the part of the upright that broke off.

"The failure had no connection to the brake system problem which affected Buemi's car earlier in FP1."

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see also
Alonso unfazed by engine problems
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren trail Red Bull - Button
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton sets China practice pace
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Chinese GP practice as it happened
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Chinese Grand Prix practice results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Ferrari play down engine concerns
14 Apr 10 |  Formula 1

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