Romain Grosjean is at a loss to explain his hefty qualifying crash. The Frenchman collided with the barriers in the final stages of the first qualifying session, as he attempted to free himself from the drop zone.
Rounding the famous Suzuka esses, Grosjean began to lose the car early on in the section, before dropping the car completely and spearing into the barriers. It's the second time in a week that Grosjean's car has suffered major damage after a loose drain cover destroyed his Haas last Friday in Malaysia.
"I was sure we could go in the top ten, so I just went for my second run and the car went very much on the nose,” said a disappointed Grosjean. “We need to understand what happened.
"For sure I went a bit fast into Turn 3, but it doesn’t really explain the fact that it went and I had a massive snap. Then I was just trying to catch it in Turn 4, but couldn’t really so I just went on the grass and then finally ended up in the wall on the other side.
"I need to try to understand why the car was so good on the first run and then just went on the second one. It’s positive that we made the right change for the first run, from FP3, but it’s a shame because I think we could have qualified in the top ten."