04/26 05:04 CDT F1 practice in Azerbaijan disrupted by loose drain cover
F1 practice in Azerbaijan disrupted by loose drain cover
By JAMES ELLINGWORTH
AP Sports Writer
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) --- A loose drain cover disrupted the Azerbaijan Grand
Prix's first practice session, which had to be abandoned after only two cars
set a time on Friday.
Just over 10 minutes into the 90-minute session, George Russell was traveling
at high speed when his Williams car hit the loose drain cover. The impact
scattered fragments of the car's floor across the track and forced Russell to
Things got worse for Russell's car when it was being taken back to the pits.
The truck carrying it hit a bridge and fluid from its damaged crane flowed onto
Russell's engine cover.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc set the fastest time of the brief session in 1
minute, 47.497 seconds.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas
hadn't left the pits before the session was cancelled.
Crews of marshals worked on clearing up the debris and reattaching the drain
cover, which was supposed to have been welded down, and laid cement dust to
soak up the fluid from the truck. They also had to check other drain covers
around the street circuit were secure.
The incident could put further strain on Williams' tight budget. The team was
already struggling with a shortage of spare parts.
It's not the first time drains have caused problems, and Williams has been a
Then-Williams driver Rubens Barrichello crashed at the Monaco GP in 2010 after
a cover was dislodged, and Valtteri Bottas damaged his Williams in 2016 in the
pitlane in Baku.
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