Loose drain cover stops F1 testing for the second day in a row

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Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his car for a F1 pre season test at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

SAKHIR, Bahrain — A loose drain cover at the side of the track caused a long delay to Formula 1 preseason testing for the second day in a row Friday.

The cover flew up when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez drove over a curb, causing a red-flag stoppage to the morning session after just half an hour amid repairs and an inspection of the area.

“Another day, another drain,” Red Bull wrote on X, formerly Twitter, as the team checked Perez’s car for possible damage to the floor.

It was in the same part of the track where another loose cover caused disruption the day before. Thursday’s incident left debris scattered across the track and caused similar delays after two cars ran over the loose cover.

Drains have been a persistent problem for F1 in recent years, though typically on street circuits, not permanent racing venues like Bahrain.

Carlos Sainz Jr.’s Ferrari was badly damaged by a water valve cover in practice for the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November and George Russell’s Williams car was wrecked in 2019 when it hit a drain cover in practice in Azerbaijan.



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