Fresh Bahrain F1 2024 testing disruption as curse of the drain covers returns

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain testing.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen during Bahrain testing.

It did not take long for the red flags to reappear on the third and final day of Bahrain F1 2024 testing due to further drain cover troubles.

The schedule on Day 2 was altered after Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari SF-24 sucked up a drain cover when he ran wide over the kerbs at Turn 11 during the morning session, which was also then hit by Lewis Hamilton.

With that opening session red-flagged and then declared over more than an hour early to allow for a full-track drain inspection, the afternoon running was extended to five hours to compensate. And with less than half an hour of running on the final day complete, we had fresh drain dramas at play.

Sergio Perez this time dislodges T11 drain cover

As the red flags came out to neutralise the morning running early on, it soon became clear that the Turn 11 drain cover which sparked Thursday’s shenanigans had once more come loose.

This time, it was after Perez had taken his Red Bull RB20 over the kerbs. recommends

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With the session red-flagged and the drivers back in the pit lane, frantic work began to get that misbehaving drain cover back and welded in place.

Leclerc confirmed yesterday that his encounter with the piece of metal had left a hole in the floor, with Ferrari having informed that a floor change was required on the SF-24.

“It wasn’t huge. There was a bit of a hole in the floor, which we had to change,” Leclerc told F1TV.

“I had no warning. I saw something, but honestly it was so thin that I thought it was a plastic thing. We see sometimes some of them around the track and we just go on them and nothing is happening, but this time obviously it was metal, so it hurt the car a little bit more.”

The final day of testing would resume at 1145 local time, with the one-hour break scrapped so the session would run all the way through to its 1900 conclusion.

Read next: F1 Testing 2024 LIVE: Follow updates from the final day in Bahrain