- Romain Grosjean [Copyright: F1]

Loose drain cover causes huge crash for Romain Grosjean in Malaysia's FP2

1y ago

17.1K

After rain played spoilsport in the first session, the teams and drivers were making the most of the second session at Sepang to get valuable data for Sunday's race.

But with over 10 minutes remaining on the clock, the session was red flagged and not re-started after a spectacular crash for Haas' Romain Grosjean.

It was in Turn 13 when Grosjean's right rear tyre burst after coming in contact with a loose drain cover on the outside of the kerb, sending the Frenchman hard into the tyre barriers after he slid across the track, through the gravel trap.

Replays showed the drain cover starting to come loose when Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen went past that same corner - the former even radioed stating: "There is something sticking out of the kerb," just as Grosjean crashed.

"I didn't see anything and then suddenly I had a big hit on the right rear. I'm good and fine, that's the main thing," said Grosjean after coming into the paddock.

Among the several opinions floating on the social media, Mark Hughes, who aids in building race circuit or upgrading the existing one's, shells out three criterias for the failure.

"All permanent tracks have drains. It's not the cars it's either poor maintenance, it's not been installed correctly or it's a cheap version," he wrote in a reply on Twitter.

After Grosjean was taken away in the medical car, FIA's race director Charlie Whiting along with Sepang officials, immediately drove down to Turn 13 to have a closer look of the situation.

The subsequent first race of the FIA Formula 4 South East Asia's 2017/18 season was cancelled.

A drain cover coming loose on a permanent circuit is not a very common sight, as it happening on a street circuit like Monaco - where it has happened before - or even Singapore or Baku.

In fact, the only other incident, which didn't result in such magnitude, was during the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix when Juan Pablo Montoya went over a loose drain cover - which gave him a puncture and subsequently he was forced to retire from the race.

[Image courtesy: F1] #F1 #MalaysianGP #Sepang #Malaysia #Motorsport #Formula1 #Crash

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