Loose drain cover causes ‘unacceptable’ Grosjean crash (VIDEO)

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Romain Grosjean walked away unharmed from a sizeable crash during Formula 1 practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday after hitting a loose drain cover at high-speed.

Coming through the complex of corners through the final sector before the back straight, Grosjean clipped a drain cover on the apex that sent his car into a spin, tearing through the right-rear tire on his car.

Grosjean got out of his car unaided, but was taken to the medical center as a precaution before being cleared.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get much long running due to the drain coming out and the crash, that ended our day. I think there are some positives,” Grosjean said.

“We’ve made some changes on the car that worked pretty well. I’m feeling sorry for the boys, as they’ve got to work hard to repair the car, but I know they will do it and in a good way.

“We’ll try to find some key element on the setup to make us go fast tomorrow. I think the boys can do it. I’m looking forward to enjoying some more laps around Sepang.”

Team boss Günther Steiner was less passive about the incident, though, calling out the circuit for not ensuring the drain cover had been welded down accordingly.

“FP2 was exciting with the drain cover coming up, destroying Romain’s tire and putting him in the barrier. It has put us in a bad spot, at the moment,” Steiner said.

“We have to see how we can get the car fixed. We’re just trying to get Romain’s car together again.

“What happened to him should not happen. Drain covers coming up at F1 circuits is just not acceptable in the year 2017.

“Let’s see what the authorities have to say to that and to explain that it doesn’t happen again.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool