The Malaysian Grand Prix won’t be on the Formula One calendar next year, and so far, it’s going out with the wrong kind of bang. Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas’ cars helped knock a drain cover loose near turn 13, leaving it sticking straight up when Romain Grosjean came around. Things went as you’d expect.
ESPN reports that Grosjean said he “didn’t see anything” before hitting the drain cover, which was right on the racing line. The drain cover ripped into his right-rear tire, sending him spiraling around and into a wall on three wheels. F1 officials canceled the rest of practice to repair the drain.
The crash is at around the 50-second mark in this video, and more footage of it is on the F1 website:
F1 announced later on Friday that Grosjean’s Haas F1 team would get a special pass to work on the car past the series’ curfew, which keeps race teams from working on their cars overnight. Teams are allowed two exceptions to that rule across each of the 20(ish)-race seasons, and F1 officials said working overnight on this wreck won’t count against that number for Haas.
The message with this one is pretty clear: You dump Malaysia, Malaysia will dump you right back.