F1 Testing 2024: Loose drain wrecks testing, and Charles Leclerc’s floor

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc lapping the Bahrain circuit

Charles Leclerc brought out the reds after hitting a drain cover.

A loose drain cover brought a premature end to Thursday morning’s running at the Bahrain circuit after testing was initially red-flagged when Charles Leclerc dislodged it.

Running very wide over the Turn 11 kerbs, the Ferrari driver dislodged the piece of metal which Lewis Hamilton then hit.

Ferrari have informed PlanetF1.com that Leclerc’s car needs to be fitted with a new floor, while Hamilton seems to have escaped with only potential tyre damage.

Charles Leclerc’s SF-24 required a new floor

After Wednesday’s Max Verstappen dominance, the chasing pack went into the second day of testing hoping to find ways to close the deficit.

Leclerc set the early pace in his SF-24, clocking a 1:31.750 that put him 0.578s ahead the McLaren of Oscar Piastri.

Logan Sargeant was third after the second hour of running, a much better start to the day for Williams and their driver as he hit the 30-lap mark.

It was a slow start to the morning for Sergio Perez as he pulled into the pits after just four laps only for his front brakes to catch fire.

A simple case of being a “bit too hot”, his team told PlanetF1.com.

He wasn’t out of the action for long and soon progressed up the timesheet as too did Fernando Alonso, who covered just four installation laps without a time in the opening hour.

They were fourth and fifth on the morning’s timesheet when trouble hit midway through the third hour.

Leclerc, on his 36th lap of the day, ran very wide at Turn 11 and dislodged a drain cover on the outside of the kerb that was hit by Hamilton, who was behind him on the track.

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With debris on the track, the session was red flagged with the drivers making their way back to the pits. Leclerc’s Ferrari was hidden behind screens while Hamilton’s W15 was lifted onto the jacks for closer inspection.

Mercedes are “looking at the tyre” with the car having seemingly escaped damage, however, Leclerc’s car needs a new floor.

Ferrari informed PlanetF1.com: “Following Charles’ accident this morning, when he drove over a drain cover, the floor was damaged and we have now changed it.” The rest of the chassis is undamaged.

The FIA made the call not to restart the session, announcing: “Repairs are underway and it is expected that the repair will be concluded within one hour.

“The afternoon session will begin one hour earlier than planned at 1400 local time.”


1 Charles LECLERC 1:31.750 36 laps
2 Oscar PIASTRI +0.578 35 laps
3 Logan SARGEANT +0.828 30 laps
4 Sergio PEREZ +1.129 20 laps
5 Fernando ALONSO +1.303 31 laps
6 Lewis HAMILTON +1.475 39 laps
7 Guanyu ZHOU +1.965 38 laps
8 Pierre GASLY +2.054 33 laps
9 Nico HULKENBERG +5.759 31 laps
10 Yuki TSUNODA +6.324 40 laps

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