The Japanese driver of World Endurance Championship, Kazuki Nakajima will lose the 24 Hours of Le Mans after suffering a fractured vertebra in a heavy accident yesterday with his Toyota in Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Toshio Sato, Team President: “We are all upset to hear about Kazuki’s injury. It is a very disappointing situation for all of us, but most of all Kazuki. The team will support him in these next days as he recovers in hospital before returning to Japan at the first opportunity. It is too early to speak about the future; we will fully analyse the situation and the possibilities before making a decision. Right now our priority is to make sure Kazuki is okay. Looking at the video of the accident it is clear he had no chance; the visibility was very poor due to the spray and there was nothing Kazuki could do.”
Anthony Davidson: “It was obviously a very difficult day for our side of the garage. Kazuki suffered a high-speed incident so at the moment our main concern is his well being. We are all with him and supporting him through this tough time. The car, for what it’s worth, felt good in the wet conditions today and we were able to set some pretty competitive lap times. But I hope we can have some dry weather for the race to see where we are before we head to Le Mans.”
Sébastien Buemi: “It is very unfortunate what happened and it’s obviously not a good start at all to the weekend. We all hope Kazuki will be back with us very soon. We will go and see him in the hospital later to keep him company. It’s a pity that we had to change the monocoque and missed the second session. This meant I didn’t do any laps at all today. If the race is dry it’s not a huge loss but still we have to refocus as much as possible and try to get the best result we can.”
Kazuki Nakajima: “First of all I want to say thanks to the race director Eduardo Freitas and his safety crew at the circuit as well as the doctors at the hospital here in Verviers who have taken great care of me. Everyone has been extremely professional and I know I am in safe hands. Unfortunately the x-ray shows a fracture in one of my vertebra. It’s unbelievably disappointing but there’s nothing I can do now; I will just focus on coming back as soon as possible. There’s not much I can say about the accident. I was on the straight and suddenly through the spray there was a car right in front of me; I had no time to react.”