Glock crashes at high speed

Updated: October 3, 2009, 9:19 AM ET
Associated Press

SUZUKA, Japan -- Toyota driver Timo Glock sustained back and leg injuries during a qualifying session at the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday, crashing into a tire wall at high speed.

Toyota team principal John Howett said tests cleared Glock of any major injuries and a decision would be made by early Sunday about Glock's fitness to race. Howett added that Toyota would find out from the race stewards whether reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi would be allowed to compete despite not having taken part in qualifying.

After the impact, Glock remained in the car for almost 10 minutes, attended to by medical staff as a screen was placed around the car, before being placed onto a stretcher and carried into an ambulance.

Glock waved as he was being put into the ambulance during Saturday's qualifying session.

Glock missed Friday's practice due to a heavy cold and fever.

Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions were strewn with similar but less serious incidents.

Mark Webber, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari and Heikki Kovalainen also skated across gravel traps and into tire walls. All those came at the Degner Curve -- a long right-hand bend in the middle section of the lap.

Buemi went off for a second time at the end of the second qualifying session, making several contacts with a wall after losing his front wing.

Of concern for drivers and race officials were that the collisions with the wall came after the cars skated over gravel traps that proved inadequate in their purpose of slowing cars before such contact.

The Suzuka circuit is being used for F1 for the first time in three years, with few drivers having experienced the demanding track. Friday's practice sessions were affected by rain and therefore run at a much slower pace than on Saturday.

"It looked pretty scary, and thankfully he is OK," Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who took pole position for Sunday's race, said of Glock's accident. "The most important message is all the drivers are OK."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press