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Ralf walks away from practice shunt 17 Jun 2005

Ralf Schumacher (GER) kicks his Toyota TF105 after crashing at the final corner.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, 17 June 2005

Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher stepped apparently unscathed from his car after crashing heavily during second practice at Indianapolis.

In a near repeat of his 2004 US Grand Prix accident, which put him out for six races, Schumacher collided with the wall in the final banked turn, after the rear of his car snapped out of control.

The session was immediately red flagged to clear the debris and resumed around 20 minutes later, by which time Schumacher had been released by circuit medical officials and was back in the Toyota garage discussing the incident with his team. He subsequently went to hospital in downtown Indianapolis for further checks.

The exact cause of the accident remains unclear, though the team and Michelin later revealed that it was probably tyre related. Toyota’s third driver Ricardo Zonta had already spun out earlier in the session with a suspected left-rear failure and immediately after Ralf’s accident, Michelin engineers advised their other teams to raise their rear tyre pressures as a precautionary measure.

"So far what we can see is that both Ricardo's and Ralf's accidents came as a result of a tyre-related issue,” said Toyota’s chief race engineer Dieter Gass. “On both occasions we had no early indication from the tyre pressure sensors so it was a fast deflation. We don't know the reason why at the moment, so we will now set about analysing the data to understand exactly what happened.

“Maybe there is a point on the track where we are running over and cutting our tyres, because it seems to occur on the outside tyre. We made sure that we had no problem on the car and that the suspension was okay. Then we talked to our partner Michelin and agreed that it would be safe enough to go out again. But we subsequently found a third cut tyre on Ricardo's car so we stopped running early.”