Half an hour later, the time trial of the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix began after a canal cover opened in turn 13 of the track in the final moments of the third free practice on Saturday morning.
In recent years, we have seen countless occasionally inadequately fastened manhole covers that have caused serious damage to Formula 1 racing machines. There was no damage to Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari when he pulled the lid open, but of course everyone wanted to avoid any accidents.
In case you missed FP3…
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What the exact problem was was reported by race director Michael Masi. “It wasn’t the lid that was the problem, but the concrete base underneath that broke, so we saw the gutter lid stand out. As soon as we noticed, we stopped the third free practice and the repair started in the area immediately. In addition, we conducted additional inspections nearby, ”he said.
The quick repair was solved by concreting: the section of the channel under the roof was completely concreted and the water flow was ensured by a plastic pipe. “We haven’t seen anything like this before, this kind of fractures, so we checked every channel on the field. We found cracks in other places, which we also repaired immediately, ”Masi said. After the timer, the manhole covers were inspected even more closely in a proactive manner so that Sunday’s race would not be disrupted by a similar incident.
According to the Australian expert, the surface of the problem is due to the huge downforce of Formula 1 cars. “We don’t appreciate the forces generated by an F1 car. It was an unforeseen event. Numerous innovations have been made on the track for this race, including complete re-paving as well as improved safety barriers. Then the channels were also checked, ”the race director added.