Kamui Kobayashi, who drives for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the #7 car explained what happened when they suddenly stopped on the track on the run to the Ascari chicane while leading the race comfortably.
Toyota was displaying dominantly for the first time in the Hypercar era, with the #7 GR010 Hybrid of Kobayashi, Mike Conway, and Jose Maria Lopez comfortably leading over the Alpine and the Glickhaus duo till technical issues forced Kobayashi to park on the run to Ascari, after 4 hours.
This was not the first time the GR010 Hybrid faced issues with this issue, both cars facing reliability issues throughout the issue, specifically the #7 car. However, that said, #8 GR010 of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi, and Brendon Hartley also faced issues in Monza, a fuel pressure issue.
“It was a hard-fought race, plenty of ups and downs, as Kamui mentioned the issues we had,” Conway said. “Unfortunately car #8 also had issues. But we saw as soon as Glickenhaus were in the lead they had an issue as well.”
Kobayashi also commented on the race but went into detail regarding the issues faced during the race, especially around the four-hour mark, where he was forced to give up the lead and lose a minute. Luckily, the #7 car was able to recover the lead from Glickenhaus and Alpine after both cars had to pit for brake changes and fuel respectively.
“We lost all the powertrain. [There was an] error message on my display and obviously, I had no power at all. So I just communicated to the engineer and the call was that we need to stop the car and obviously we lost so much time [doing so],” Kobayashi said.
“It’s a bit of a shame because it looked good [until that point] but as soon as we stopped we needed the [hybrid] boost [on the] car. We lost I think around a minute, so it cost us a lot of time.”
One thing was made clear, Toyota has work to do before Le Mans, to try and improve their reliability ahead of arguably one of the most renowned races in motorsport.
“A hard six hours for sure but definitely good momentum to go into Le Mans with. But we still got some work to do in terms of reliability,” Conway admitted.
“We have to keep working hard until Le Mans and hopefully try and win that. It’s going to be [won the] hard way. We see that six races are hard enough, 24 for sure is going to be hard.”