Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

How a loose manhole cover caused Azerbaijan GP practice to be cancelled

Bizarre scenes cause first session in Baku to be stopped after 10 minutes after George Russell's Williams is damaged

George Russell's damaged Williams is recovered after stopping on track after hitting a loose manhole cover in Azerbaijan. Reuters
George Russell's damaged Williams is recovered after stopping on track after hitting a loose manhole cover in Azerbaijan. Reuters

First practice for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix was abandoned after just over 10 minutes due to two bizarre incidents in which a loose manhole cover was struck by George Russell's Williams car and then a recovery truck struck a bridge.

The impact caused significant damage to the Williams and race organisers decided to abandon the rest of the session to analyse the incident and check the safety of the rest of the venue in Baku.

The truck recovered Russell's car then struck a bridge, leading to checks needing to be made on the structural integrity of it before the cars are allowed on track again.

Upset Williams team principal Clare Williams told Sky Sports: "It's not what you would expect from a Formula 1 circuit, the drain covers are supposed to be welded down. We'll be taking that up with race control."

The second session is at 5pm, with Sunday's race beginning at 4.10pm.

Updated: April 26, 2019 02:03 PM

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