Jensen Button may have expected to a hard fight against Nico Rosberg, but would he have anticipated the drain cover the German flung his way.
During Practice One, Jensen Button was just minutes from the conclusion of the race at Sainte Devote when a flying drain cover took a chunk out of his car. Nico Rosberg inadvertently rolled over the loose drain cover and sent it soaring into the air, puncturing his own back tyre and shattering the front right side of Button’s MP4-31. It may not have been a head-on collision the likes of which we saw at the Spanish GP, but this episode caused its own brand of pyrotechnics.
“It went through the front wing extension and brake intake. It was an incident that we definitely don’t want to see again. We were lucky in a way that it only damaged the car.”
Technically, the drain cover should have been welded into place, but the safety requirements were not as stringently observed as hoped. The whole fiasco held everyone up, causing the complete suspension of P1 as officials combed the course for errant drain covers.
“It’s unacceptable in many ways because these things should be checked. They should be welded down.”
Johnny Herbert, Sky Sports Pundit
What a bummer for everyone, except for Lewis Hamilton. The Briton from Mercedes completely dominated the practice round while everyone else suffered mechanical woes. Felipe Massa found himself crashing into walls while Jolyon Palmer had similarly unfortunate luck with barriers. And as for Rosberg, well, two on-track fiascos in a row certainly isn’t a desired outcome. Could he be more determined to make history than he was before, just to wash the bitter taste of catastrophe from his mouth? Only time will tell.