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.”

Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick team up again on NBC’s Indy 500 coverage

Danica Patrick Mike Tirico
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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick will return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500, which will be broadcast Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (green flag at 2:30 p.m.).

Tirico and Patrick, who both joined NBC Sports for its inaugural coverage of the event last year, will reprise their roles as host and studio analyst.

One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico also hosts NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage, Football Night in America and many other premier events, including hosting on-site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year for the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR crossover weekend.

AT THE BRICKYARD: Daily Indy 500 coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN

He again will be joined during prerace, in-race, and postrace coverage by Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005 and also was the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR driver.

They will make their debut together duing practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN.

“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

Said Patrick: “The Indianapolis 500 is an event that transcends mainstream and motorsports which is why it’s so special. We are living during a time that if we can bring people together, we should. Even if it’s not physically. I am honored to be back with the NBC Sports team and Mike Tirico. The memories I have from 15 years at IMS hold such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to make more this year in the booth, or however we are positioned in 2020!”

This will mark NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will take place in August for the first time ever because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.