Azerbaijan GP: F1 vehicle damaged after driving over dislodged manhole cover

Azerbaijan GP: F1 vehicle damaged after driving over dislodged manhole cover

"The engine turned off, it's ruined the floor and the chassis could be ruined".

"I got the biggest smack through my body, the whole engine turned off, it's ruined the floor and I'm a bit anxious for the chassis now", Russell said on Sky Sports.

"It was just on the normal racing line and has ruined my session".

Ferrari's two drivers were the only ones to set a time, with Charles Leclerc ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

To make matters worse for Williams, the recovery crane carrying Russell's vehicle back to the pits struck a temporary footbridge over the track.


Williams later confirmed the damaged auto required a chassis change which means Russell, due to regulations, won't be able to run until the third practice session on Saturday.

"You can see from the TV that's just taken the whole underside out".

He was unhurt, but with more than 300 similar drain covers around the circuit, the race stewards elected to abandon the session to ensure they were all welded down in position.

"The session won't be going green until it's sorted".

"The circuit needs to make sure that their drain covers are bolted down properly", she said.


Williams' auto was late to pre-season testing and has trailed at the rear of the field so far in F1 2019 and Williams said the unexpected repairs would add new pressures to the team. "That's just not acceptable". The damage could put us out for the afternoon. In 2017, a loose drain cover at the Malaysian Grand Prix caused £500,000 of damage to one of Haas' F1 cars, which the American team successfully claimed in compensation via the Sepang circuit's insurance policy.

Kimi Raikkonen said Formula 1 "looked like amateurs" in Azerbaijan after a loose drain cover forced the cancellation of first free practice.

"We'll have to wait and see whether that chassis is repairable or whether we need to go to our third chassis".

Williams later confirmed Russell's auto would undergo a chassis change, meaning it will not be able to return to the track until FP3 on Saturday morning at the earliest.

"It's a calamity of errors", says Christian Horner on the Sky F1 pit-wall.


Neither Hamilton or Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas had recorded a lap before the incident, which occured after 13 minutes of the 90 allocated for the session.

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