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.”