Kubica at risk of missing race due to chassis change

© XPB 

Robert Kubica might not be able to start this afternoon's Japanese Grand Prix, after Williams were forced to change his chassis following a heavy accident at the start of qualifying.

The session has been postponed from Saturday due to typhoon Hagibis, meaning it was held on Sunday morning just four hours before the start of the race.

That leaves the team with very little time to rebuild the FW42 for Kubica to start the race from pit lane.

Kubica appeared to be caught out by gusty wind conditions exiting the final corner at Suzuka. He ran wide and went into the tyre wall, triggering a red flag just two minutes into Q1.

The Pole was able to leap out of the cockpit unassisted, but the damage to the car was extensive enough to force the team to switch chassis.

“We have enough parts but it’s a chassis change so huge amount of work," said a Williams spokesperson. "It will be tight but they are doing everything they can and I’m confident they can do it."

“It was a high price for a relatively small off," Kubica told Sky Sports F1 of the incident. “I just opened it up, starting the lap.

"There was probably a few factors that led to this," he continued. "I put the wheel slightly off the track, missed the space, and that had me on the grass.

"The wall came quite quickly and, as I said, there was a few factors which are contributing.

"I don’t want to go into detail but the whole story started before qualifying," he added, sounding very unhappy with the circumstances of this morning's incident.

Robert Kubica (POL), Williams F1 Team

"I’m okay, but it’s a f***ing joke," he said over the team radio immediately after the accident.

Assuming that the car is ready in time, Kubica will have to start from pit lane after failing to set a time in qualifying and because of receiving a new chassis and gear box.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was also caught out by the conditions at the same spot. He triggered a second red flag in the session after spinning and going tail-first into the tyre barrier.

The damage to the VF-19 is thought to be much less extensive, but he will still need a new gear box. The Dane is expected to start the race, albeit from the back of the grid after failing to complete a timed lap in Q1.

"It’s very gusty today, windy," he explained. "So I think I got a gust, lost the rear. Pretty s**t."

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-19 crashed during qualifying.

Renault are also having a busy time before the race replacing parts of Nico Hulkenberg's hydraulics system after a loss of pressure caused him to get stuck in gear during the second round of qualifying.

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