Yeongam, South Korea, Oct 14, 2012 (AFP) - Kamui Kobayashi, whose place next season at Sauber is in serious jeopardy, apologised to Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg after he sent both crashing out of the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Japanese, criticised by other drivers in the past for his recklessness, also had to retire from the race because of the incident that occurred just moments into a grand prix that was won by Sebastian Vettel.
"It was my mistake at (the) start," he wrote on Twitter. "Sorry for Jenson and Nice (Nico).... Also to my team."
Button's fine start from lowly 11th was wrecked when Kobayashi came flying down the inside, smashing into the McLaren man and destroying his suspension.
"I've just been hit by Kobayashi. What an idiot!" the Briton and 2009 world champion exclaimed over the team radio.
He also hit out at the Japanese after the race, saying: "It's extremely disappointing. This is a long race, with so much opportunity for everyone.
"It's a great circuit for overtaking, so it's surprising to see people behaving like that on the first lap."
His title hopes were over, Button conceded. Not long after Button retired, Rosberg did the same to his Mercedes because
of the same incident. It was the second week in a row that the German has failed to finish a race.
"Unfortunately this has been the second poor weekend in a row for me and it's very frustrating to be taken out twice in the first corners of the race," he said.
"Kobayashi hit me from behind today and that was my race over. The one small positive to be taken from the weekend is our qualifying performance, which was a small step forward.
"Now I'll look forward to India and hope for a bit more luck there."Kobayashi, third last week in his native Japan, was forced into the pits for a new nose and tyre.
He was then landed with a drive-through penalty for causing the early carnage, and bowed out soon afterwards when Sauber decided that the damage to his car was too extensive.