Toyota have now discovered what caused Timo Glock’s heavy accident at the German Grand Prix last weekend. The German driver was just coming onto the main straight when his TF108 veered quite violently over the right towards the pitwall. His car took substantial damage as it hit the wall backwards and then skated down the track and onto the other side before coming to a rest. Glock was uninjured, but went to hospital for a precautionary check-up. Toyota now know what caused the incident.
It was relatively clear that Timo’s rear right suspension gave way, and this explains why the back of the car dropped and pivoted around in the way that it did. However, suspension failures don’t happen all that often these days; the rules regarding strength of these parts are pretty stringent given that they only tend to fail at high speeds.
The cause of the failure in this case has been put down to a trackrod that was carried over from the previous British Grand Prix. During the Silverstone event the part had been damaged, but overlooked during the team’s usual inspections following each race.
This [investigation] initially established that a rear toelink (trackrod) gave way causing Timo to lose control of the car.
Further investigation has established that damage sustained in the British Grand Prix two weeks earlier was the cause. During that race Timo suffered several incidents.
As a result of this investigation, Toyota Motorsport has revised its inspection processes to include such cases and is extremely confident there will be no repeat. Toyota Press Statement.
While it is good that Toyota have discovered the fault and are adjusting their processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again, you can’t help but wonder why it has taken a potentially dangerous accident for this to have happened? Surely the processes each team go through should be inspected themselves every now and then to ensure that every member of staff and every checklist is maintained accordingly.
This incident has also caused some other drivers to question the governing body’s approach, most notably (read: exclusively) Red Bull Racing and David Coulthard. Earlier in the season Coulthard was involved a number of clashes with other cars and kerbs. During these relatively minor incidents the Scot’s RB4 appeared to disintegrate somewhat unnaturally. The FIA forced an inspection of the Adrian Newey-designed car to test it’s strength in a few key areas.
I didn’t hear of any investigation into the structural integrity of the Toyota – but presumably that will happen because when we had a suspension breakage in Malaysia we came under the spotlight of the FIA in a way that was publicly uncomfortable for the team. David Coulthard.
As Sidepodcast point out, the structural integrity of the Toyota appeared to withstand the incident better than the Red Bull’s, especially considering that Coulthard ran over a kerb in Malaysia and destroyed his car, and Glock pounded a wall very hard, but managed to get out and still recognise his TF108.
Either way, Glock was released from hospital on Monday shortly after being admitted and got back into the car on Thursday for a day’s testing at Jerez.