The drain accident of Williams’ pilot George Russell in the first practice in Formula 1 SOCAR Azerbaijan Grand Prix has caused broad discussions and speculations.
This is, however, not the first incident in the history of Formula 1. Similar incidents involving drains were also recorded in the previous years. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Montreal Grand Prix, 1990: a manhole cover flipped up under a bridge after being dislodged. It was struck by the Spice of Fermin Velez and Courage-Porsche of Denis Morin before it sliced through the bottom of the chassis of the Brun Porsche 962 of Jesus Pareja, instantly starting a fire. Pareja managed to scramble free after his car came to a halt.
Grand Prix China, 2005: TMcLaren driver Juan Pablo ran over a protruding drain cover with his right-front wheel at the exit of Turn 10 during the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix. He continued after returning to the pits for a new tyre but later retired with an engine problem.
2010, Monaco: Rubens Barrichello was running 10th in the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix when his Williams struck a loose manhole cover while taking a line close to the wall on the run up the hill from Ste Devote. The impact and resulting crash meant the car sustained significant damage.