Formula 1

Romain Grosjean involved in thoroughly avoidable crash during Malaysia practice

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This year's battle for Formula 1 supremacy has been the most exciting in years, with Ferrari and Mercedes going hammer and tong for the title.

The rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel has been fiery to say the least, with each driver knowing that the slightest mistake could cost them dearly come the end of the year.

For now, Hamilton is sitting pretty atop the pile having overhauled the substantial lead that Vettel had built in the early months of the season. 

The Briton leads Vettel by 28 championship points going into this weekend's Grand Prix in Malaysia, with the German chaser knowing that he will need to pull off nothing short than the drive of his life to stay in touch.

So far for Vettel, things are looking good.

The three-time world champion was fastest in the second practice session followed by teammate Kimi Raikkonen with Hamilton way off the pace in sixth.

Unfortunately, the session was marred by a nasty accident involving Romain Grosjean that forced officials to call a premature end to the practice.

Grosjean was flying around the track towards the end of the session when his rear right wheel spontaneously exploded as he rounded a corner, causing the French driver to understandably lose control of the vehicle and career off the road before slamming into the hoardings surrounding the track.

Fortunately, Grosjean was unharmed in the accident, but the fact that his wheel had so suddenly given way was cause for concern.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Grosjean had struck a loose drain cover just to the side of the tarmac that quite simply tore his wheel to shreds.

The cover had reportedly been loosened by the drivers in front of Grosjean, who repeatedly had gone over the same spot. Whatever the case, it seems bizarre that something that can cause such great damage, endangering the lives of the drivers would be located on the track.

Officials will have to work quickly to ensure that the track is safe ahead of the first round of qualifying.

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Formula 1

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