Jamie Whincup says he expected a worse outcome for Shane van Gisbergen after the reigning champion’s initial radio call following his Practice 1 crash.
Van Gisbergen crashed out of opening practice at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on Thursday.
The reigning champion spun at high speed at Turn 7, with the rear wing wiped off the #97 Red Bull Camaro.
The car slid across the track and nosed into the concrete, with the session red-flagged for a second time.
It came after Tim Slade crashed his #23 Nulon Camaro at Turn 5, with the car sustaining heavy left-side damage.
When he first heard van Gisbergen over the radio, Whincup feared a worse fate for the #97, which was allayed once the car returned to the garage.
“I think the vision’s pretty self-explanatory,” the Red Bull Ampol Racing boss said.
Slade’s damaged Nulon Chevrolet
“He just dropped a wheel coming out of Turn 7 – did a good job actually to keep it pirouetting down the road.
“He came on the radio and said ‘I’ve had a big crash’, but I expected a lot worse than actually what it was.
“The guys are here to push hard, find the limits… practice is what it’s all about, so we’ll repair the car and get back out there for the next one.”
Triple Eight mechanics quickly shifted to repair mode on the #97, with Practice 2 set to commence at 1:15pm local time.
A greater battle lies ahead for Nulon Racing, with the left-rear corner Slade’s car picking up significant damage.
“It’s just massively frustrating,” Slade said.
“We’re all a bit gun-shy with these cars for the first time here at this circuit.
“It felt relatively good — I wasn’t pushing, I hadn’t flat out through any of the fast stuff.
“I stuffed up a couple of corners before… before I knew it, the rear was gone. It completely disconnected into the wall.”