Formula 1

Close-up footage reveals cause of Romain Grosjean's crash during practice

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Romain Grosjean was involved in a terrible crash during the second practice session ahead of the weekend's Grand Prix in Malaysia after his right rear tyre suddenly burst sending him skidding off track.

At first glance, it made no sense that Grosjean's tyre would give way in such spectacular fashion as he rounded the innocuous 12th corner, but further investigation revealed that it was no fault of the tyre at all.

A close review of video footage revealed that a drain hole cover just adjacent to the tarmac had been shaken loose by Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who were only seconds ahead of Grosjean, resulting in the cover being flipped and lying upside down as the French-Swiss approached the corner.

Understandably, the tyre was torn to shreds by the errant cover and Grosjean immediately lost control of the vehicle.

The car skidded dangerously off track before slamming into the hoardings on the side.

Fortunately, while a flaw in track design may have caused the accident, it was the massive run-off, a positive for the track, that saved Grosjean from potential harm.

The distance between the track and the hoardings is vast and due to the presence of a gravel pit as well, Grosjean had slowed quite substantially before hitting the sidings.

The practice session had to be called off early as officials rushed to rectify the problem.

It is certain that they will be checking every other drain cover as well to ensure that such an unnecessary endangerment of a driver's life is avoided over the course of the weekend.  

Grosjean has since tweeted to inform fans that he is fine but feeling a little drained after an accident that could quite easily have been so much worse.

However, Malaysian officials will have some assurances to make ahead of qualifying that the track is safe as it is certain, considering the amount of rain that falls in Malaysia, that there are plenty more drains littered all over the track.

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Formula 1

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