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F1 European GP: Bottas misses FP3 after drain cover damage

Valtteri Bottas is forced to miss third free practice for the European Grand Prix after suffering damage from a loose drain grate in the pit lane
Damage from a loose drain cover in the pit-lane has prevented Valtteri Bottas from participating in final free practice for the European Grand Prix in Baku.

The Finn, a podium winner last time out, was coming back into the pit-lane after an installation lap when he kicked up a drain grate with his front wheel, which ricocheted into the sidepod of the Williams FW38.

Bouncing off the car into the path of marshals standing on the pit-wall – thankfully just missing them -, Bottas pulled into his garage where the team determined the damage was enough to sideline him for the remaining hour.

Ahead of qualifying, the incident marks a blow for Bottas having shown impressive pace in Friday practice, headlined by a mammoth top speed of 351km/h.

It is the second time in three races that a loose drain has caused havoc after Nico Rosberg kicked up a cracked manhole cover in Monaco and the close-following Jenson Button struck it.
by Ollie Barstow



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Drain cover comes loose in the pit lane
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