F1’s sporting regulations state each team “may have no more than two cars available for use at any one time during an event”, so Russell had to sit out the second practice session while Williams built up the new chassis for him.
“I’ll go into tomorrow trying to make the most of our session,” said Russell. “But obviously we don’t have our spare car now.
“Obviously you don’t plan to crash or do anything stupid like that. But the spare car is there for a reason, you’d want to try to go to a spare car when it’s truly needed from something of your own doing, let’s say, and this is completely out of our hands.
“So they’re very fortunate we had that here or else we wouldn’t be racing.”
The rookie said there was nothing he could have done to avoid the damage, which occured when his car lifted the drain cover from the ground because a clamp beneath it had failed.
“It just came out of nowhere. You can’t see these drains really when you’re going that fast down the straights and you’ve got so many on the track it’s just normal to run over them.
“The second I did there was a huge bang. I didn’t feel anything through my back so that was good but I could tell it ripped the floor off, it set the fire extinguisher off and because of that the car ended up turning off. The fire extinguisher was so cold it was almost burning me so I didn’t know what was going on at that point.
“So I just jumped out as quick as I could. It’s just an unnecessary amount of pain, damage, a lot of costs [are] going to be incurred because of this incident. It’s frustrating for all of us.”
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2019 F1 season
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