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Max Verstappen

Verstappen, Leclerc in F1 demand over 'serious issue'

Testing has twice been interrupted by a problem that also claimed a day of running in Las Vegas last term.

red flag bahrain testing 2024
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To news overview © XPBimages

Reigning F1 World Champion Max Verstappen has demanded increased checks on drain covers ahead of race weekends after the latest issues during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

After the morning session was curtailed on day two following damage sustained by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc - the Scuderia forced into a floor change - another red flag was thrown early on the final day after a drain cover came loose, forcing a rejig to the running schedule for a second day running.

These issues follow the catastrophic incident at the Las Vegas Grand Prix in November that wiped out the first day's running and left Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz with so much damage that he was forced into a grid penalty following component changes.

Addressing the problems, Verstappen told media including RacingNews365: "With the ground-effect cars it is a little bit worse, but also it seems like we are driving in places that not a lot of other cars are going, in terms of opening up corners.

"Maybe these things can be checked a bit more, we know that this is a potential problem with these cars and when you go to certain tracks, you know where the drain covers are so before you start driving, double checking that everything is solid is a must for the upcoming tracks so we don't have another situation where cars get destroyed.

"Especially with the budget cap in place as well, it is not nice when these things happen."

'It can have big consequences'

Leclerc was able to take to the track to make up for lost time in the afternoon on day two before handing over to Sainz, despite the damage sustained to the SF-24.

Adding his thoughts, the Monégasque said: "It is a serious issue because it can have big consequences.

"We have to look into it for the future for it not to happen again. We were quite lucky that it didn't happen in a place and situation to Vegas.

"But in Vegas, it was quite serious for Carlos but I am sure everybody is working on finding the best solution for that."

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