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.”

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.