Opening Practice in Baku Halted by Drain Cover Incident


The first practice session for this weekend’s Azerbaijan was brought to a premature finish when Williams’ George Russell hit a loose drain cover.

The drain cover, on the straight before Turn 3, appeared to come loose when driven over by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a little over 10 minutes into the session. Russell, the next car on track, ran over the loosened object which damaged the floor of his Williams FW42.

Russell pulled over on the exit of Turn 3 and the session was red-flagged to allow for the Williams car to be removed, for marshals to clear the debris and examine the manhole cover.

Race control then reported that the session would not be restarted with further checks necessary around the track being required.

Just two drivers had posted times when the incident occurred. Charles Leclerc recorded the fastest time on the medium tyre, a 1:47.597s, two seconds ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

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