Formula 1


Marcus Ericsson crashes in French GP practice session

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Preparations for this Sunday's French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard Circuit are well underway as drivers have taken to the track for their first practice runs.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton recorded the fastest lap in practice, while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas trailed by just 0.0140 seconds in second place.

Concerns over the track's surface have been raised in recent weeks. F1's Charlie Whiting has played down claims of the track being 'patchy', ensuring fans and racers they needn't worry.

Despite this, a number of stars have struggled to get to grips with the track during practice sessions.

Turn Six proved to be a particularly tough obstacle for racers to overcome. Raikkonen, Force India's Esteban Ocon, and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley all spun out in that area of the track, narrowly missing the barriers.

However, it was Sauber's Marcus Ericsson who fell victim to the Paul Ricard, losing control at high speed when turning at the fast Beausset corner, flying across the run-off area and hitting the barriers.

Ericsson slammed sideways into the tyres, taking a big knock to the side of the head. Still dazed from the slam, Ericsson had failed to realise that the rear of his car was partially engulfed in flames.

The Sauber driver's rear mirrors had been crushed in the crash, so it was up to his team to shout, "Out of the car, quick!', through the radio.

The Paul Ricard marshalls eventually burst onto the scene to extinguish the flames, as Ericsson emerged from the wreckage with no injuries.

Canadian F1 Grand Prix

The session was red-flagged, forcing all racers back to the pits. With little time remaining the session, the crash virtually brought FP1 to a premature end.

Ericsson has been ruled out of the second free practice session for the French Grand Prix due to damage to his car. The Swede currently sits 17th in the F1 rankings after finishing 15th at season's previous stop in Canada. 

Brendon Hartley
Valtteri Bottas
Esteban Ocon
Marcus Ericsson
Toro Rosso
Lewis Hamilton
Force India
Formula 1

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