Azerbaijan GP: FP1 cancelled after drain cover incident

The first practice in Baku has resulted in an abandonded session after a drain cover caused an accident for Williams rookie George Russell.

The Brit ran over a loose manhole cover on the run to turn 3, which caused it to lift into the air and spread debris over the track.

Russell said:

“I just hit it and got the biggest smack through my body…I was just going down the straight on my normal line.”

He then pulled over to the side of the road as the session was red flagged to recover the car, however it was not restarted as it is believe track officials wanted to inspect the other 300 manhole covers around the street circuit.

The bad luck for the FW42 continued as the recovery truck’s crane made contact with a bridge and was damaged, spilling hydraulic fluid over the car on the back.

Claire Williams commented on the initial incident:

“It’s not what you would expect from a Formula 1 circuit, the drain covers are supposed to be welded down. We’ll be taking that up with race control.”

As the deputy team principle has said, the covers should be welded down, however it has been said that marshalls were seen tightening the cover with tools suggesting it is in fact bolted down.

More as we have it.

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