Romain Grosjean says his crash in FP2 caused by hitting a loose drain cover registered at 17G when he collided with the wall at the Sepang International Circuit and feels lucky to walk away without any injuries.

The Haas driver collected the loose drain cover, which broke free after being dislodged by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, which cut through his right-rear Pirelli tyre and sent the Frenchman into a spin at turn 13 before crashing into the barriers at high speeds.

Grosjean was able to hop out of his car and after medical checks he was confirmed to have not sustained any injuries but his Haas was substantially damaged, with the American team given special dispensation to repair the car beyond the overnight curfew set by the FIA.

After looking over the data and replays of his crash, Grosjean says he initially didn’t see the loose drain cover and after losing control of his car focused on preparing for the hit with the barrier which registered at 17G.

“It was a pretty big hit, I think I got 17G in the barrier, it is never nice to have but those cars are very strong and all important safety measures have been made,” Grosjean said. “The worst thing right now is having to see the guys working twice has hard to put the car back into one piece. We don’t have many new parts anymore and some are now broken.

“Initially I thought I had blown up a tyre on the kerb because I didn’t see the drain at all but I saw the footage later on with the drain coming out and hitting the tyre so I understood what happened. It is unfortunate but we are lucky that I am okay.

“There is a lot of damage on the car and they guys are going to have to work very, very hard to get it back into one piece but like I said we are lucky that nothing else happened. For us it is time to focus on finding some more performance and focus on racing.”

Grosjean says he has faith in the FIA and Sepang circuit officials fixing the drain covers ahead of tomorrow’s FP3 and qualifying and doesn’t think it will cause further problems this weekend.

“It is a concern but I know the circuit and the FIA are going to go through each of them and everything is well in place for tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve got no doubt that they will do that well and we can go racing and racing hard.

“Some of the drains weren’t strong enough and they were getting old but the FIA didn’t see them because of the paint. They apologised which is good and I know tomorrow they will sort everything out so we can go racing.”

Grosjean's FP2 shunt caused a premature end to the second session despite 15 minutes remaining in order to allow the FIA and circuit officials to check the drain covers and ensure the track is safe.

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