Herbert upbeat despite bruising crash

Johnny Herbert's final Grand Prix ended just eight laps from the finish when rear suspension failure pitched his Jaguar hard into the barriers.

Herbert upbeat despite bruising crash

But in typical Herbert style, he summed it up simply: "I guess it was inevitable that because I began my career being carried to the car, I would end it being carried out of it..."

There was heavy rear damage to the car, and Herbert banged his legs in the impact. The British driver managed to get out of the cockpit unaided, but had to be carried to a waiting stretcher by marshals.

He underwent precautionary x-rays in the circuit's medical centre, where it was reported that he had suffered just "heavy bruising" in the incident.

"I have a bit of pain from the left knee but nothing too serious.There is nothing like ending your career with a bang.

"When the car was pitching about I was trying to work out which way I was going so I could position my legs for the impact and lost my sense of direction. I'm disappointed to have a good race ruined by a failure such as that.I was running well early on until I had a problem in the pit stop."

Herbert was in his final Grand Prix since he began in 1989, and is now pursuing a career in the American CART series. He had run as high as fourth in the race, opting for a one-stop strategy. However, a 19 second stop caused by a problem releasing the fuel hose, dropped him out of the points.

"The legs were our main worry," said his father, Bob, who was at the track for his son's last race with Herbert's wife, Becky, and mother Jane.

"It is not the way he wanted to go out of Formula 1, but at least he is okay. Johnny is looking forward to America -- they will love him over there. He still loves racing and that's what he has always wanted to do. I feel sorry for Luciano Burti because he has got to drive that thing next year..."

Teammate Eddie Irvine added: "I'm glad Johnny is okay. It's a shame his career had to end with an accident. Unfortunately that seems to be the story of his life.

"I wish him all the best, he deserves it. He's provided a load of laughs in the short time we were team-mates. Formula 1 will miss him.

Gary Anderson, Jaguar's technical director, said: "Johnny drove very well, doing exactly what we wanted him to do but unfortunately locked the gears going in for his stop caused the engine to stall.

"We lost time restarting the engine and that undid all his hard work. His accident towards the end of the race was caused by a broken suspension link. That shouldn't happen and we will be looking at the cause."

To see the final results of the Malaysian GP click HERE.

To see how the race unfolded with autosport.com's lap by lap report click HERE.

To see the final drivers' championship standings click HERE.

To see the final constructors' standings click HERE.

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