Frederic Vasseur Considers ‘Charging F1 for Damages Again’ After Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari Sustains Broken Floor

Published 02/22/2024, 6:28 AM EST

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The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc now has a broken floor as a result of hitting a loose drain cover at Turn 11 in Bahrain. Talk about a Déjà vu for Ferrari as they relive Las Vegas 2023 all over again on day 2 of pre-season testing. Lewis Hamilton was behind Leclerc as they both approached T11. As Hamilton mounted the entry kerb to turn left, something got kicked up in the air from the rear end of his car as a result of Leclerc having driven over the loose drain cover and damaging his floor. It was reminiscent of how Carlos Sainz got damaged in Las Vegas due to a drain cover. Team Principal Frederic Vasseur was quick to respond to this incident.


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According to Auto Motor und Sport, Vasseur said, “We are a bit short of spare parts, like all teams before the start of the season. The problem is that the Grand Prix is ​​next week and Jeddah follows a week after that. There shouldn’t be too many floors broken. He jokingly added, I have to charge for damages again. Last year in Las Vegas, Ferrari lost a car in practice because a loose manhole cover ripped open the gearbox and chassis.”

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Surprisingly, the Ferrari man who suffered the ill fate from the loose drain cover in Las Vegas tried to save his teammate in Bahrain.

Carlos Sainz tried to get the session yellow-flagged before Leclerc ran over the drain

Carlos Sainz experienced the severe consequences of encountering a loose drain cover firsthand as his Ferrari got a damaged gearbox and energy store from the incident in Las Vegas back in 2023. However, this time around the Spaniard was aware of the situation and he tried to warn Charles Leclerc. He even asked track marshals to wave yellow flags to caution the drivers.

Sainz even positioned himself near turn 11, in an attempt to warn Leclerc directly of the danger. However, before any cautionary action could be taken, Leclerc drove his Ferrari over the loose drain cover and damaged his floor. Fortunately, Ferrari responded to the situation quickly and replaced the damaged floor of his car to make sure it was ready for the afternoon session.


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The damaged floor will now be taken back to the factory at Maranello for inspection. Luckily, there was no damage to the chassis or any other part of Leclerc’s SF-24, unlike the fate that Sainz suffered.


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How many drivers have to suffer from this unfortunate incident before FIA starts to inspect for lose drain covers before the start of an event? What are your thoughts on the matter?


Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

Veerendra Singh is a Motorsport writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in F1 coverage. Having followed the sport for more than 12 years, Veerendra excels in covering trend-setting articles and has covered Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, and Charles Leclerc extensively during the 2023 F1 season. His Dale Earnhardt Jr post regarding the North Wilkesboro Speedway was shared by Save The Speedway Twitter account.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare