Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc agree on ‘serious issue’ F1 must address

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc all agree F1 must address the following serious issue that is putting drivers at risk on the track.

Another familiar foe has appeared as drivers prepare for the first race on the F1 schedule in Bahrain: Loose drain covers. On Thursday, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was on the track when his car ran over a loose cover, though it appeared as if the car was not damaged too badly.

Formula 1 Testing in Bahrain - Day 3

In the wake of the incident during testing, Leclerc said having loose drain covers is a “serious issue” and that the problem should be addressed quickly. “It’s a serious issue because it can have big consequences,” Leclerc said to “We have to look into it for the future, for it to not happen again.

Yesterday we were quite lucky that it didn’t happen in a place and in a situation similar to Vegas, but in Vegas it was quite serious for Carlos [Sainz]. But I’m sure everybody is on it, and working on finding the best solution for that.”

Leclerc is referring to when Sainz, his Ferrari teammate, was testing at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Eight minutes into the first practice session, Sainz ran over a loose drain cover, causing massive damage to his power unit, chassis and other portions of his car.

Sainz was given a 10-place grid penalty and Ferrari was able to repair his car, despite how damaged it was. Since then, drivers have been appealing to the FIA to come up with a solution to address the issue sooner rather than later to avoid repeat incidences.

“Obviously it’s a concern,” Lewis Hamilton told Hamilton’s car also hit the drain cover Leclerc did because of how close the former was driving to the latter.

“And hopefully the FIA are on top of it, welding these things well in advance before us getting there. Fortunately, it wasn’t like the bad the one that Carlos hit, but we’ve definitely got to be on top of it.”

Formula 1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Three

Joining Leclerc and Hamilton in sharing the same thoughts is Red Bull star Max Verstappen. Though Verstappen knows the Bahrain organisers are addressing the issue before the race begins in earnest, he hopes future races will have addressed the issue before the drivers arrive.

“For sure, with the ground effect cars, probably it’s a little bit worse,” Verstappen shared. “But also it seems like we are driving in places that not a lot of other cars are going, in terms of opening up corners and stuff. But maybe these kinds of things can be checked a bit more.

“We know that this is a potential problem with these cars, and when you go to certain tracks, you know where the drain covers are. So before you start driving in the weekend to double-check that everything is solid is a must for the upcoming tracks, that we don’t have another situation where cars get destroyed.


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